Saturday, September 22, 2007

Usability test: Does iPhone match the hype?

Comparing iPhone, Nokia N95, and HTC Touch ...

"We all know that in the technology world, the hype about new products often doesn't match reality. So it's fair to ask: Is the iPhone as good as its hype? In particular, does iPhone's much-discussed touch-screen interface really make using the device simpler and more intuitive?

Everybody will have an opinion, but what's need is something more objective and definitive. So an expert in the field -- Perceptive Sciences, an Austin, Texas-based usability consulting firm -- was asked to examine and compare the iPhone and two competitors.

The results of its tests were unequivocal: While the iPhone is not the most feature-rich device, this group of experts found that when it comes to usability, iPhone does, indeed, live up to its hype.

The phones

Besides iPhone, the two other products in this usability comparison test were selected for two reasons: They were available, and they had competitive feature sets. In particular, the testers needed a touch-screen phone to compare to the iPhone and a more traditional button-based phone with strong multimedia capabilities.

For now, there are few touch-screen devices available. One that has received a fair amount of publicity is the LG Prada, which is not yet available from a U.S. cellular carrier. LG declined to participate in these tests.

... Let's cut to the bottom line: In terms of usability, iPhone blew away its two competitors. Its overall score in the usability tests was 4.6 out of 5. The HTC Touch was a distant second at 3.4, and the Nokia N95 scored 3.2.

"Testers were [typically] about twice as fast doing specific tasks on the iPhone, which is pretty remarkable"    (Continued via Computer World)    [Usability Resources]

The iPhone Compared - Usability, User Interface Design

The iPhone Compared

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