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The 2009 MEX Mobile User Experience Awards


The winners of the 2009 MEX Mobile User Experience Awards were announced on 19th May at a special evening reception in London. Hosted on the 1st night of the international MEX Mobile User Experience Conference, the awards were attended by 100 of the leading executives in the mobile business. The Awards were sponsored by Nuance (Title sponsor), Immersion (Platinum sponsor) and DCKTN (Silver sponsor).

The MEX Awards challenge the world's most talented students, designers and companies to create cutting edge mobile user experience innovations. Contestants must identify their target user and then illustrate with video, screenshots and storyboards how they would meet the needs of that particular customer.

You can read about the winners and short-lists, judging process and judge profiles below. All of the entries from both 2009 and 2008 can be viewed in the MEX Awards Gallery.

To find out more about sponsoring future MEX Mobile User Experience Awards, please contact us

Winner: 2009 MEX Mobile User Experience Innovator of the Year


From left to right, Philippe Jeanrenaud, Director of Marketing at Nuance, Aaron Rustill, winner and 2009 MEX Mobile User Experience Innovator of the Year, and Marek Pawlowski, founder of MEX.

Digitag Digitag
Designed by... Aaron Rustill

Digitag is a concept based on technology that will emerge in five to ten years from now. It's a completely new way for users to view mobile phones and the data they carry. Digitag mobile phones have a unique product identification code and it is encrypted and contains the user's biometric data in the form [...]

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Winner: Professional category


From left to right, Marek Pawlowski, founder of MEX, Tim Green, Editor of Mobile Entertainment Magazine, Mark Kirby, Antony Ribot, Jerome Ribot and Tara Etherington (all of Ribot Design).

The professional category is for products developed by companies in the mobile industry but not yet launched commercially. Please explore the entries by clicking the links - each entry is supported by additional pictures and videos online.

Little Spender Winner: Little Spender
Designed by... ribot

Little Spender has been designed with people like Xavier in mind, allowing him to add his expenses through micro experiences on his mobile device. 10 seconds to launch and add an expense, followed by a quick tilt of the screen to see glance-like visuals of expenses added so far. Little Spender's goal is to enable even [...]

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01 Phone User Interface Short-listed: 01 Phone User Interface
Designed by... TheAlloy

Human interaction is critical to the success of mobile experiences, and often where current phones let people down. The 01 Phone design addresses the real needs of users interacting with a multi functioned device. At the core of this concept is a completely new user interface that is embedded into a tactile, rubberised sliding keyboard [...]

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Tx12. Text Phonetics. The Accessible Alternative Keypad and Learning System Short-listed: Tx12. Text Phonetics. The Accessible Alternative Keypad and Learning System
Designed by... Kevin Thomson

Tx12 is a simple idea. Stop cramming the bl%$y alphabet between 2 and 9 or putting QWERTY on a postage stamp! Use all 12 keys. There are Four Fundamentals to Text-Phonetix. 1. Alphabetic Layout using ALL 12 Keys - Optimum physical accessibility and ergonomic layout on standard 12 key pads, for maximum usability and customer experience on [...]

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Winner: Freelance category

From left to right, Marek Pawlowski, founder of MEX, Terence Warmbier, Director of Business Development, Immersion Corporation and Rhys Cooper of Orange Dot Pty Ltd.

From left to right, Marek Pawlowski, founder of MEX, Terence Warmbier, Director of Business Development, Immersion Corporation and Rhys Cooper of Orange Dot Pty Ltd.

The freelance category is for products developed by self-employed individuals. Please explore the entries by clicking the links - each entry is supported by additional pictures and videos online.

The Doo Phone Winner: The Doo Phone
Designed by... Rhys Cooper

The 'Doo Phone' is a mobile phone interface that is the easiest in the world to use no matter what your capabilities. The motivation for developing this interface came from Rhys Cooper's work with people who have an intellectual disability but the interface is suitable for everyone. The phone interface works by firstly eliminating any menu [...]

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TouchType Express Short-listed: TouchType Express
Designed by... Ben Medlock

TouchType Express is the technology Brian has been looking for. It transforms text entry allowing users to simply select their next word rather than type in every character. This entry method is made possible by TouchType's cutting edge prediction technology which accurately predicts around 40% of users' next words without any input, and over 85% within [...]

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Bluetooth One: One-Click Access to Bluetooth from Anywhere on Your Phone Short-listed: Bluetooth One: One-Click Access to Bluetooth from Anywhere on Your Phone
Designed by... Markus Grupp

Bluetooth One is a design concept that combines a dedicated Bluetooth hardware key with a contextual, intuitive task-based user interface that can be integrated easily by a handset manufacturer. The Bluetooth key allows the user to instantly turn Bluetooth on with a simple press, from anywhere in the user interface, with no need to return to [...]

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Winner: Commercial category

From left to right, Marek Pawlowski, founder of MEX, Sam Dean, Marko Balabanovic and Richard Lewis Jones (all of, Ken Blakeslee, Chairman of WebMobility Ventures, and Eddie Murphy of Digital Communications Knowledge Transfer Network (DCKTN).

From left to right, Marek Pawlowski, founder of MEX, Sam Dean, Marko Balabanovic and Richard Lewis Jones (all of, Ken Blakeslee, Chairman of WebMobility Ventures, and Eddie Murphy of Digital Communications Knowledge Transfer Network (DCKTN).

The commercial category is for products developed by companies and already launched in the market. Please explore the entries by clicking the links - each entry is supported by additional pictures and videos online.

nru Winner: nru
Designed by... labs

We have designed, built and launched an Android application called nru ('near you'). It allows you to see what you can do near you, based on your current location and the direction you're pointing the handset. The interaction is very physical as you move the entire phone around your body to see what's available in different directions. This takes advantage of the fact that the G1 handset uniquely has a compass as well as GPS and accelerometers, so can detect direction as well as position and orientation.

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BabyCenter goes Mobile! Short-listed: BabyCenter goes Mobile!
Designed by... Velti, Ansible and Baby Center

Using a state-of-the-art user friendly graphic interface, the BabyCenter campaign integrates different advertising formats (online and mobile website, mobile alerts, sponsored content, promotional text messages, sweepstakes), a mobile club creating a community of pregnant women and new mothers, and leverages web and mobile applications to maximize traffic and effectiveness.

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Mobile festival website Short-listed: Mobile festival website
Designed by... bemoko

You can get a programme for a festival, but the information in the programme is static from the time of printing. What if you could get up to date information, chat with your mates and upload pictures of yourself enjoying the festival?

The bemokoLive festival package is all about going one step further than the programme and giving the modern festival goer instant, relevant information.

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Winner: Student category

The student category is for products developed by full-time students or young designers. Please explore the entries by clicking the links - each entry is supported by additional pictures and videos online.

Happy Handsfree Winner: Happy Handsfree
Designed by... James Slater

The Happy Handsfree allows you to take a call whilst not putting the phone to your ear (hence reducing exposure of the head to radiation). It is situated on the user's wrist and features a microphone and loudspeaker. The purpose of the loudspeaker is so the child can hear the conversation without having to put the [...]

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Guide Box Short-listed: Guide Box
Designed by... Chris Ryan

Guide Box provides a service that enables those with a visual impairment to quickly and easily get building access information on their mobile phone. Many public buildings can be large, confusing and difficult for anyone to find their way around. The Guide Box service aims to empower visually impaired users to approach and access unfamiliar public [...]

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Texture Messaging Short-listed: Texture Messaging
Designed by... Laura Warwick

Texture messaging is a cross-network, cross-platform messaging service that enhances SMS by allowing the user to attach different elements to their text message. Using haptic technology, the user can control and manipulate the physical feedback the recipient feels when reading a message by choosing to attach and personalise five variables to their message; light, vibration, texture, [...]

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Meet the judges

Steve Busfield, Head of Media and Technology, Guardian News and Media

Steve Busfield, Head of Media and Technology, Guardian News and Media Detailed bio

Steve Busfield is Head of Media and Technology for Guardian News and Media. He has previously been news editor of, night editor of the Guardian, editor of and a showbusiness reporter at the Daily Mail.

Why did we choose them?

Steve brings a strong consumer focus to judging the Awards, reminding us all of the needs of end users and the frequent disconnect between the way the mobile industry sees the world and the reality of customer's day to day lives.


Mike Grenville, Founder,

Mike Grenville, Founder,

Why did we choose them?

Mike has been a key figure in the MEX community from the outset, taking part at all 5 MEX conferences. We're delighted he'll be returning as a team leader for the 2009 event. His focus on emerging markets issues and sustainable technology has been an inspiration for many of our MEX Manifestos.

Detailed bio

Mike founded in 2001 to promote and report on the potential he saw then of mobile messaging. Activities of the forum include news, seminars and the annual Global Mobile Messaging Industry Awards. Mike is also a journalist and a frequent conference speaker about mobile messaging. He is also a campaigner and speaker on environmental issues.


Rudy de Waele, Founder,

Rudy de Waele, Founder,

Why did we choose them?

Arguably one of the best connected people in the mobile business, Rudy is an ideal choice for judging the MEX Awards. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of the mobile start-up scene through his consultancy work, conferences and as founder of MobileMonday Barcelona.

Detailed bio

Advisor, Strategy & Market Development - Enabling Next Generation Mobile & Web Services Strategies
Rudy De Waele, a Belgian, living and working in Barcelona, Spain has been working in internet media since 1995 and in mobile since 1999. Often invited as a speaker and contributing writer to a number of professional publications, his visionary thoughts on Mobile 2.0 have gone around the world. You can view his last presentation on the subject at
Currently he works with dotopen, an open innovation consulting firm advising start-ups and established companies with their strategic positioning, defining business models, creating alliances, and identifying market and funding opportunities.
Rudy is a creative, visionary, thoughtful and self-motivated strategist with international technology platform experience across the Internet, Mobile Internet and Wireless Media. Well-connected among key players in the digital media distribution and global mobile value chain players, he has worked on projects as diverse as R&D, competitive intelligence analysis, digital concept, content and event development, mobile and digital music distribution, building communities, social network analysis and development, and content integration of wiki's, blogs, moblogs and RSS feed technologies.
He is also part of the organizing committee of Mobile 2.0 Conference in San Francisco and the founder of MobileMonday Barcelona and MobileMonday Madrid.


Ken Blakeslee, Chairman, WebMobility Ventures

Ken Blakeslee, Chairman, WebMobility Ventures

Why did we choose them?

We're still searching for a technology Ken hasn't tried before us. A veteran of the mobile telecoms industry at the most senior levels, Ken is constantly at the cutting edge of the business, spotting trends before they emerge on the mainstream radar. He has participated at all 5 MEX conferences, helping to stimulate great debate as a chairman, team leader and a judge of the MEX Awards.

Detailed bio

Ken's involvement over the past few years has been specifically in the area of private equity investing in the mobile sector, and his previous experience in developing telecoms, IT and web commerce business strategies spans 25+ years. His recent focus has been on the emerging new media content, applications and commerce methodologies, and the merging of these with the ubiquitous, personal access of mobile.
Ken's company, WebMobility Ventures, focuses on private investing and advising companies on bringing innovations in multimedia mobility to market. Prior to that he was Chairman of WirelessWorks with The Vesta Group, managing the investments of one of Europe's top networked venture capital funds, Frontiers Capital. Now fully invested, this fund focused on Mobile Internet enabling technologies and was a joint initiative between Vesta and the Carphone Warehouse. In addition to being a venture partner, he established and was Chairman of their Board of Advisors. He has also served on the board of directors and advisory board of several companies, all innovatively active in various sectors of mobile investment, product definition and service delivery. Previously, he was VP of Business Strategy for Wireless Internet at Nortel Networks.
Ken has held numerous industry positions including chairman of the Mobile Data Association, vice chair of the UMTS Forum Market Aspects Group, and in 2001 was named to the GSM Association 'roll of honour' for 'longstanding commitment to the GSM industry'. In 2004 Ken launched and produced 'Cool and Connected' a 'Wearable Technology Fashion Show' and in 2006 the 'Innovation Showcase' of emerging key technologies at 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona and also at the International Broadcasters Conference in Amsterdam.
Ken was born, raised and educated in New England, USA (NH and Maine mostly) and has settled in the UK 'for the time being' (24 years so far!).


Marek Pawlowski, Founder, MEX

Marek Pawlowski, Editorial Director, PMN

Detailed bio

Marek leads the development of the MEX conferences and research services for PMN. Since founding PMN in 1995, Marek has focused the company's activities on helping the mobile telecoms industry to improve its understanding of customers and translate that understanding into better user experience and increased profitability.
In addition to his extensive research portfolio for PMN, he is widely published in print and digital media, a frequent speaker at international conferences and provides commentary for leading broadcast channels such as the BBC and CNN.


Tim Green, Editor, Mobile Entertainment Magazine

Tim Green, Editor, Mobile Entertainment Magazine

Why did we choose them?

As editor and a founding member of Mobile Entertainment Magazine, Tim has his pulse on what's happening in all aspects of mobile content. Widely known in the mobile business for his insight editorials and detailed feature articles, Tim is also responsible for the overall editorial direction of Mobile Entertainment.


The judging criteria

These are the criteria the judges used in their deliberations:

The MEX Awards are designed to recognise achievement in 2 key areas:

1) User-centred design

Has the designer genuinely understood and empathised with the needs of their target audience and how well are those needs reflected in the product they've designed? Please reward entries which show they have clearly spent time thinking about who the users are, what kind of unique needs they may have and how they can deliver an experience really suited to those individuals.

2) Thinking differently

Does the entry represent a different way of thinking? We're not necessarily looking for cutting edge technology here, but has the designer created something which represents a new way of solving user experience challenges? Sometimes the most innovative products have the simplest technology...

Finally, can we hold up the winners as inspiring examples of good mobile user experience to encourage the rest of the mobile industry to do better for its customers?

The sponsors

Entering the MEX Mobile User Experience Awards is completely free of charge, thanks to the generous support of our visionary sponsors. Nuance is our title sponsor and Immersion is our Platinum sponsor. Digital Communications KTN is the bronze sponsor. The Awards are co-located with the 2009 MEX Conference. To find out more about becoming a sponsor of the MEX Awards or MEX Conference, please contact Marek Pawlowski (+44 7767 622957 or

The 2008 MEX Mobile User Experience Awards

Read all about the 2008 MEX Mobile User Experience Awards here. You can also browse the complete gallery of MEX Awards entries from all years here.

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