Sunday, September 03, 2006

Improving One-Handed Usability in Pocket PC

Need for larger interface for thumb operated devices ...

... "In WM5, Microsoft made it a priority to build the Pocket PC OS around one-handed operability, since they realized that the most frequent implementation of the OS would be in a phone device. Therefore, they suggest to OEMs that each device have the following hardware buttons: a DPad, two softkeys, a Start Button, and an OK button. Some OEMs followed that precisely, while others added other shortcut buttons for mail and/or internet.

The team recognizes that they missed a few areas: you cannot easily switch folders without tapping the dropdown folder list, you can’t switch between applications without touching the screen, and using the dialer on most device requires one to launch the dial pad.

In my opinion, I’d think we should see two things: device that are designed to be thumb-operated; and a “larger” interface that is conducive to thumb-operation. Imagine skipping over all of the hardware buttons, and being able to hold the device in hand such that you can move your thumb all around the screen to perform all operations. While you can do that to a point with today’s device, the weight distribution of most units make it uncomfortable to operate in this manner.

In my opinion, I’d think we should see two things: device that are designed to be thumb-operated; and a “larger” interface that is conducive to thumb-operation. Imagine skipping over all of the hardware buttons, and being able to hold the device in hand such that you can move your thumb all around the screen to perform all operations. While you can do that to a point with today’s device, the weight distribution of most units make it uncomfortable to operate in this manner."   (Continued via pocketnow.com)   [Usability Resources]

Pocket PC Display - Usability, User Interface Design

Pocket PC Display

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