Saturday, July 14, 2007

Study investigates iPhone usability among short-term users

Results of iPhone usability study ...

"...Chicago-based usability consultancy User Centric conducted a usability test with iPhone customers who purchased their iPhones on the first day of its US release. The goal of this study was to identify overall ease-of-use factors and general usability issues among motivated early adopters who had limited experience with the iPhone.

Six days after the iPhone was launched, User Centric tested the usability of the iPhone during 60-minute usability sessions with these iPhone customers. The participants, who had the same short-term exposure to their new iPhones, were asked to carry out the same set of tasks using their new iPhones. User Centric also asked participants to compare text entry on their iPhone with their prior mobile phones (which used multi-tap text entry because their old phones did not have QWERTY keypads).

... Primary difficulties with the iPhone interface
• Participants uniformly found text entry SMS and email to be difficult. They were frustrated by the forced use the vertical keyboard and the lack of visibility for editing the middle of a word or sentence.
• Many participants found Google Maps difficult to use on the iPhone. They experienced issues with the fine-motor control required to pan accurately in different dimensions in Google Maps and predictably zoom in and out. It was unclear to participants how much they needed to adjust the size of their "pinch" gesture to zoom in and out with the control that they wanted.
• Participants were often frustrated with their Web browsing experience and hoped that this would improve dramatically with an upgrade in network capability. The lack of Flash and Java capabilities during Web browsing was considered a detriment to basic Web use.
• Finally, participants were surprised (and somewhat annoyed) to discover that horizontal text entry was available only in in the Safari browser."    (Continued via MacDailyNews)    [Usability Resources]

iPhone - Usability, User Interface Design

iPhone

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