Sunday, October 29, 2006

Ease-of-use dogs Moto

Dealing with usability problems after product release ...

"Three quarters of RAZR users would not buy another Motorola handset because they are difficult to use, according to a poll by Mobile. A survey of consumers who had bought Motorola products found many are still struggling with usability.

Motorola has responded by saying that its recently released KRZR handsets feature five improvements to the user interface, made in light of feedback from the RAZR. Mobile carried out a snapshot survey of Motorola users, and the results suggest the manufacturer faces an uphill challenge to convince its existing customers to stick with it for future purchases.

In the survey of 55 Motorola customers, 78% said they wouldn't buy a Motorola handset again, with the majority citing problems with usability. The figure was slightly higher among first-time Motorola users. As many as 85% of the 48 first-time Motorola users in the poll want to switch to another manufacturer.

A spokesman for Motorola said: 'It's not a case of anyone hiding behind that [usability problems]. It has been a very strong perception. That is changing. The challenge [for us is to convince consumers] to try the KRZR and RIZR and see the improvements that have been made and see how much easier they are to use.'

Five improvements have been put in place on the new KRZR handset based on feedback from the RAZR, with fewer clicks to important functions, easier messaging, faster access to contacts and voice calling.

The improvements in usability come as new marketing director Simon Thompson launches a campaign emphasising that the new devices are 'easy to use'.

The sample survey was dominated by RAZR owners, who made up almost half of all those asked. The survey revealed that 80% of RAZR users wanted to jump ship to another manufacturer with their next purchase.

The spokesman added: 'Give it ten minutes – that's as much as it needs. There's definitely a perception out there. It may have been true in the past but we've gone a long way in changing that reality.'

Motorola has streamlined the process of accessing messages and taking photos on its new handsets. Among those who said they would buy Motorola again, four respondents independently volunteered that it took some time to get used to the Motorola system, adding that the usability was difficult initially, but they were comfortable after an initial period."    (Continued via Mobile)    [Usability Resources]

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