Monday, July 02, 2007

Poor Screen Ergonomics may lead to User Backlash against Mobile Devices

Mobile device screens not very usable ...

"Liquavista, the company pioneering mobile multi-media displays, today launched a series of findings from a recently commissioned research report that shows there is a growing risk of a consumer backlash against mobile devices.

A staggering 83% of the British consumers interviewed for the research commented that they have had problems seeing the screens of mobile phones, digital camera’s, TV’s and laptop or desktop computers in some light conditions. 75% further commented that they have had to block out natural daylight in some situations or another to see the screens or have had to resort to shielding mobile phone screens with their hand in order to read text messages or see an image that has been received (61%). Additional findings from the report show that nearly all consumers questioned were unable to view the screen when the back-light (also blamed as for being the main drain on batteries in most mobile devices) powers down – 83%.

The research highlights that these visibility problems are now creating bad feelings amongst users, with nearly half of the respondents (44%) citing that they feel misled by the advertising campaigns for such devices which predominately show them being used in an outdoor environment.

60% of users also felt restricted about where they could use their mobile device and 57% felt frustrated that, as a result of not being able to see the screen clearly, they were unable to use the full functionality within the device. A further 54% complained that the automatic switch off of the artificial light, after such a short time, was irritating.

The good news is that if the changes to the screen enhance the flexibility of how and where the device can be used, consumers are willing to pay a premium price for new products. In fact, 73% of respondents would change their buying behaviour with respect to mobile devices if screens could be viewed clearly in all light conditions, including outdoors in daylight.

"Consumers are right to argue that the technology running behind today’s displays isn’t at a satisfactory level," commented Mark Gostick, CEO of Liquavista. "It’s not good enough anymore to expect users to interact with a ‘mobile’ device only from behind closed curtains or with one hand over the screen the block the natural light."    (Continued via Usability News)    [Usability Resources]

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