It would seem that just about everyone who’s anyone is lining up to
kick the iPhone. A new report from a Chicago-based usability
consultancy reckons that texters have a hard time using the phone’s new touch screen.
According to researchers at User Centric, their study found that while overall design and usability of the
iPhone was good, the iPhone’s touch keyboard was a weak point for
Around 60 users were asked
to enter specific text messages and complete several mobile device
tasks. Twenty of these participants were iPhone owners who owned their
phones for at least one month. Twenty more participants were owners of
traditional hard-key QWERTY phones and another twenty were owners of
numeric phones who used the “multi-tap” method of text entry.
The results found that when compared to hard-key QWERTY phone owners using their personal
phones, iPhone owners’ rate of text entry on the iPhone was equally
rapid. However, iPhone owners made more errors during text entry and
also left significantly more errors in the completed messages.
While iPhone owners made an average of 5.6 errors/message on their own
phone, hard-key QWERTY owners made an average of 2.1 errors/message on
their own phone. iPhone owners also left an average of 2.6
errors/completed message created on the iPhone compared to an average
of 0.8 errors/completed message left by hard-key QWERTY phone owners on
their own phone.
researchers found that when comparing the performance of iPhone owners
and non-iPhone owners, there was no significant difference
between the number of errors made. iPhone owners were faster
than non-iPhone owners, of course.
“Despite the correction features available on the iPhone, this
data suggests that people who have owned it for a month are still
making about the same number of errors as the day they got it,” saidGavin Lew, Managing Director at User Centric.
The research group said that when compared to hard-key QWERTY devices, the iPhone may fall short for
consumers who use on their mobile device heavily for email and text
“The iPhone is a great switch from a numeric phone. But if you’re
switching from a hard-key QWERTY phone, try the iPhone in the store
first,” recommended Lew.