26 February 2009

How people really use the iPhone

An interesting presentation by Bill Westerman of Create With Context, shows people's detailed interactions with their iPhone and reveals how much interaction is actually learned, rather than being immediately intuitive. One of his recommendations is that the multi-touch interaction is not the sole route to access functionality: in some cases people didn't know it was an option, others found it conceptually difficult and some didn't have the dexterity to manage it.

One of the tasks Westerman asked his participants to carry out, choosing a new application from the Appstore, revealed how influential the icon associated with the application was: the cleaner and crisper, the more credible the application. This may be specific to iPhone-style interfaces where icons are so significant to the interaction. People were sceptical of star ratings and reviews of applications, preferring to trust friends' recommendations, and they were suspicious that cheap apps might be malware.

This study was conducted with 30-55 year-olds since, in Westerman's opinion, they have the cash to indulge themselves and are not over the IT hill yet. Thank you!

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