For Immediate Release
New Study: Celltop Usability Worse Than WAP
July, 2007: New York City: Usable Products Company's recently-completed
report, "Celltop Usability," found that Celltop was harder to use than WAP.
Alltel's Celltop is a mobile widget solution, which Usable Products studied
alongside Axcess Web, a WAP portal, on LG's AX8600 mobile telephone.
According to Scott Weiss, President of Usable Products Company, "Mobile
widgets are 'Web 2.0' for phones." Mobile widgets are highly interactive,
Internet-aware applications. Celltop is a mobile widget solution launched by
Alltel in January 2007, with the promise of increased usability. A case
study from the designers of Celltop states that "Celltop . was created
specifically to communicate the Alltel brand attributes of reliability,
simplicity, and service."
"Unfortunately, Celltop is less usable than WAP," stated Weiss. "Only 7 out
of 10 usability test participants were able to successfully check the
weather in Miami, Florida using Celltop, while all 10 were successful using
Axcess Web, a WAP portal. Furthermore, of those who succeeded, Celltop took
36 seconds (27%) longer than WAP." Half of the participants started with
Celltop; the other half started with Axcess Web.
Participants checked the phone's call log using Celltop and the phone's
native user interface, with similar results: 70% were successful using
Celltop, while 100% were successful using the phone's native user interface
(UI). Celltop required 161% more time to check the call log than the phone's
native UI. Participants needed a full minute to check the call log with
Celltop, and only 23 seconds using the native UI.
"Celltop is visually appealing, but its ease of use is inferior to LG's
native UI," stated Weiss. "Despite poor usability, participants preferred
Celltop overall, 6 to 4. However, not for checking the weather or the call
log-in those cases, participants favored WAP and the phone's native user
interface 7 to 3 over Celltop." Usability tasks included finding and
launching Celltop, checking the weather, sports scores, stock quotes, the
call log, adding the News cell, and reordering cells. 10 one-hour usability
interviews were conducted in Spring, 2007.
The report, "Celltop Usability," delivered in print and on CD ROM, is
available for immediate sale from http://usableproducts.com It spans 50
pages, starting with background on 7 mobile widget solutions. The report
contains 17 charts, dozens of high resolution photographs, 10 demonstration
videos of Celltop in action, and 15 usability video clips.
Scott Weiss (sweiss at usableproducts.com) is a mobile usability leader. His
book, "Handheld Usability" (Wiley: 2002), is the pioneering text on mobile
design, prototyping, and usability testing. His team at Usable Products
Company (usableproducts.com) is dedicated to mobile phone and handheld
consumer electronics user interface design and usability benchmarking.