(Photo: CU-1 Falby by David Hockney) So I've just finished a user experience consultancy gig with a major mobile network operator based in France. It's an interesting project which I'll be picking up again in the new year. I've been working alongside product owners (ie individuals who are assigned with owning the business of a part of a website or service) and have been factoring their business objectives into the objectives versus needs process. Having just spent ten months working through the objectives of a UK network operator it was interesting to see the different approaches to the business. I can't really go into any details, but one of the key differences is that the French team have managed to build a business treating their products as containing inherent value. For example, the French customers are apparently happy to pay extra to add services to their account which the English would have added to the service for free in the interest of building a better experience, getting closer to the consumer and starting to build the bonds of trust that are a key component of the d.a.r.t approach. I was reminded of all this when I rediscovered the fd's Flickr toys page. The tools (and many, many, other wonderful ones elsewhere) are built thanks to the public Flickr api. The tools let users discover value in their photographs beyond what the camera or the storage/sharing/hosting service can offer. The fd page is such a great example of what happens when openness and collaboration build on an already great service. Note to mobile network operators everywhere: I get so much value out of my interaction with Flickr I would gladly pay triple what I pay today for my account.