"Why are you calling?" New feature could revolutionize phone calls

New York, New York - The future just called, and soon, we could know why.

Monica wants to talk about weekend plans - neato!
Monica wants to talk about weekend plans - neato!  © Collage: Unsplash/Bagus Hernawan, Twitter/danmall

Have you ever ignored a phone call because you didn't know who was calling you – or more importantly, why they were calling in the first place?

Dan Mall, founder and CEO of a design system agency called SuperFriendly, has created a buzz with his new idea to show you what people want to talk to you about when your phone rings.

"My wife has wanted a feature on her phone for a while where people have to let you know WHY they’re calling you," he explained. "So I decided to sketch it out for fun."

He then shared several images on Twitter showing how the program might work and make calling more convenient – and even eliminate anxiety for some.

Mall envisions cell phone manufacturers anchoring an option in the call menu where users could decide if they want callers to add a reason when calling.

If the option is activated, callers would be prompted to add the reason for their call, which would then be displayed on the called party's screen to show exactly what the call is about. If the caller doesn't want to enter a subject, they call would go straight to voicemail.

The feature would let you weigh how important a call is so you could easily reject it without running the risk of missing something important.

You could also set up exemptions for certain people so that family or friends wouldn't have to specify why they are calling.

You could even set it up so that unknown numbers don't have the option of adding a reason for calling, which could serve as a defense against misuse and spam callers.

Users are excited, but Apple isn't

You, too, could soon be able to call people about work lunch without lifting a finger.
You, too, could soon be able to call people about work lunch without lifting a finger.  © IMAGO / Panthermedia

There's a lot of positive feedback on Dan Wall's idea online.

"I'd love it if it worked like this," one user commented on the Twitter thread, and a programmer agreed: "Really good."

"The feature is well thought out," another Twitter user enthused, though they complained that it would probably only be worthwhile for busy people.

For regular users, it could be "frustrating" to always have to enter a subject first when all they wanted to do was make a phone call.

But Mall included some design ideas of using smartwatches and voice commands, which could streamline the experience for the caller, who could just say what they want to call about.

Mall also tagged iPhone manufacturer Apple in his thread, but there was only a standard response from the tech giant: "Thank you for making suggestions, we are always looking to add new features to our updates," it said, adding that the designer could share the idea via Apple's website.

The innovative idea is still in limbo, and whether it will be adopted by smartphone companies remains to be seen.

Cover photo: Montage: Unsplash/Bagus Hernawan, Twitter/danmall

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