What Women Want (was: iPhone usability tests)

16 Jul 2007 - 12:59pm
7 years ago
37 replies
1416 reads
Dan Saffer
2003

NYT had an article a while ago about what women want in their
products. It's unfortunately now an article you have to pay for.

<http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/07/technology/07women.html?
_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin>

I was able to grab some of it:

"Only a few years ago, feminizing a consumer electronic product meant
little more than creating a pink or pastel version of the same black
or silvery item coveted by men. And, some retailers note, that kind
of marketing still goes on. But feminizing technology is more about a
product’s fundamentals, often expressed in its ease of use. It is not
always aimed exclusively at women, but it is female friendly.
Shoppers see it throughout electronics store from the rising
popularity of digital picture frames to flat-panel televisions that
are designed to fit into the cabinets and armoires that once housed
smaller-screened traditional televisions by moving the TV speakers
from the sides to the top or bottom of the TV.

The impact is being noticed. Women bought slightly more than half the
digital cameras in the first four months of this year, compared with
48 percent a year ago, according to the NPD Group, a market analysis
firm.

There are more subtle touches, too, like the wider spacing of the
keys on a new Sony ultraportable computer notebook that goes on sale
next week. It accommodates the longer fingernails that women tend to
have. Some of the latest cellphones made by LG Electronics have the
cameras’ automatic focus calibrated to arms’ length. The company
observed that young women are fond of taking pictures of themselves
with a friend. Men, not so much."

Comments

16 Jul 2007 - 1:13pm
Jennifer Berk
2007

Here's a permalink:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/07/technology/07women.html?ex=1338868800&en=f5295da7cf76ae76&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

Generated from http://nytimes.blogspace.com/genlink

Jennifer Berk
Information Architect
Purple Monkey Studios, Inc.

On 7/16/07, Dan Saffer <dan at odannyboy.com> wrote:
> NYT had an article a while ago about what women want in their
> products. It's unfortunately now an article you have to pay for.
>
> <http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/07/technology/07women.html?
> _r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin>
>
> I was able to grab some of it:
>
> "Only a few years ago, feminizing a consumer electronic product meant
> little more than creating a pink or pastel version of the same black
> or silvery item coveted by men. And, some retailers note, that kind
> of marketing still goes on. But feminizing technology is more about a
> product's fundamentals, often expressed in its ease of use. It is not
> always aimed exclusively at women, but it is female friendly.
> Shoppers see it throughout electronics store from the rising
> popularity of digital picture frames to flat-panel televisions that
> are designed to fit into the cabinets and armoires that once housed
> smaller-screened traditional televisions by moving the TV speakers
> from the sides to the top or bottom of the TV.
>
> The impact is being noticed. Women bought slightly more than half the
> digital cameras in the first four months of this year, compared with
> 48 percent a year ago, according to the NPD Group, a market analysis
> firm.
>
> There are more subtle touches, too, like the wider spacing of the
> keys on a new Sony ultraportable computer notebook that goes on sale
> next week. It accommodates the longer fingernails that women tend to
> have. Some of the latest cellphones made by LG Electronics have the
> cameras' automatic focus calibrated to arms' length. The company
> observed that young women are fond of taking pictures of themselves
> with a friend. Men, not so much."
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://beta.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://beta.ixda.org/help
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>

16 Jul 2007 - 8:04pm
Won Sun Parque
2007

Are there really significant enough difference between female users
and male users that is more than what we can find out with our usual
user research?

When I conduct user research, I do research on whoever is using the
product. Male or Female. No discrimination. It helps me look at my
design outside of the traditional gender stereotypes, which is
getting farther and farther from the truth everyday.

I personally know quite a bit of stay-home Dads, and workaholic Moms.
:P I would imagine those Dads need to multi-task quite a bit, too.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=18267

16 Jul 2007 - 10:16pm
liyazheng
2005

This video shows some phone concepts from Nokia Design and also 3/4 into the video, a participatory design type exercise from a group of women, they came up with some interesting ideas.

http://www.newyorker.com/online/video/conference/2007/jung

These may not be as big of a wow as the iPhone to some people and arguably Nokia doesn't have the kind of brand equity apple has. But from an interaction design perspective, these guys are doing some real solid design research work and I'd love take a turn into talking about the future.

:)

Liya

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com on behalf of Dan Saffer
Sent: Mon 7/16/2007 1:59 PM
To: IxDA Discuss
Subject: [IxDA Discuss] What Women Want (was: iPhone usability tests)

NYT had an article a while ago about what women want in their
products. It's unfortunately now an article you have to pay for.

<http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/07/technology/07women.html?
_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin>

I was able to grab some of it:

"Only a few years ago, feminizing a consumer electronic product meant
little more than creating a pink or pastel version of the same black
or silvery item coveted by men. And, some retailers note, that kind
of marketing still goes on. But feminizing technology is more about a
product's fundamentals, often expressed in its ease of use. It is not
always aimed exclusively at women, but it is female friendly.
Shoppers see it throughout electronics store from the rising
popularity of digital picture frames to flat-panel televisions that
are designed to fit into the cabinets and armoires that once housed
smaller-screened traditional televisions by moving the TV speakers
from the sides to the top or bottom of the TV.

The impact is being noticed. Women bought slightly more than half the
digital cameras in the first four months of this year, compared with
48 percent a year ago, according to the NPD Group, a market analysis
firm.

There are more subtle touches, too, like the wider spacing of the
keys on a new Sony ultraportable computer notebook that goes on sale
next week. It accommodates the longer fingernails that women tend to
have. Some of the latest cellphones made by LG Electronics have the
cameras' automatic focus calibrated to arms' length. The company
observed that young women are fond of taking pictures of themselves
with a friend. Men, not so much."
________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
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16 Jul 2007 - 10:44pm
cfmdesigns
2004

On Jul 16, 2007, at 6:04 PM, Won Sun Parque wrote:

> Are there really significant enough difference between female users
> and male users that is more than what we can find out with our usual
> user research?

That kind of depends on our "usual" user research, doesn't it? If
the tests are aimed at ignoring/minimizing gender barriers (or
racial, or age, or class, or orientation, or...), then we're probably
not going to pick up much of that.

Most software and hardware is created with an aim of being neutral --
not just not offensive and not biased, but often not even especially
attractive to one demographic over another. In some sense, it's a
dumbing down of the culture, a minimizing of the overall losses/
failures rather than a maximizing of any sector. And thus silver...
blue... gray... muted colors, rounded edges, etc.

Which ties back into Apple: the original iMac did do a good job of
kicking the entire industry in the pants, with the idea that the
computer should be a centerpoint of the decor, sitting on the table
rather than under the table hidden behind the trashcan, and should
reflect your tastes and sensibilities rather than hiding itself in
blandness. (Beige. I think I'll paint the ceiling beige. It will
match the computer.)

(Of course, then *everybody* did colors, so Apple burned the trend
out with Flower Power and Blue Dalmatian, and led the way back to
something plainer, yet still more stark and useful than beige.)

-- Jim

17 Jul 2007 - 6:56am
Todd Warfel
2003

Depends on the product. In most of the websites we test, there's not.
In some of the financial planning and family planning there is. Women
do 70% of the grocery shopping and about 90% of the family calendar
planning.

And one interesting thing we've found lately with incentives (we
offer either cash or an iPod Nano), the women take the cash and the
men take the iPod. Not conclusive by any means, but it's something
we've seen in the last three tests we've run. Just kind of interesting.

On Jul 16, 2007, at 9:04 PM, Won Sun Parque wrote:

> Are there really significant enough difference between female users
> and male users that is more than what we can find out with our
> usual user research?

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
President, Design & Usability Specialist
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

17 Jul 2007 - 7:55am
Tracy Boyington
2007

Yes, I think so. Look at the iPhone:

Women are more likely to wear dangling earrings. Will they scratch the
phone's surface?

Women are more likely to have long fingernails. Obviously that's an
issue. Did Apple consider it and decide the market share was small
enough to lose? Or did it never occur to them that someone with long
fingernails would have a difficult time using the product?

Where do you carry your phone? If you're a man, you probably carry it
in your pocket, or clipped to your belt. Women are far less likely to
have either pockets or belts. Apple's promotional materials refer to
carrying the phone "in your pocket." I only know one woman who
consistently carries her phone in her pocket. The rest of us carry it in
a bag or purse, or in our hand. I can't help but notice that all of
Apple's materials show the phone being held by a man. Is this because
it's too large to comfortably hold in a woman's (typically smaller)
hand? I know one woman who bought her phone based solely on the fact
that it had a loop to attach a wrist strap. For her, that convenience
outweighed all other features, because she wouldn't be able to use them
if she couldn't easily carry her phone.

~~~~~
Tracy Boyington tracy_boyington at okcareertech.org
Oklahoma Department of Career & Technology Education
Stillwater, OK http://www.okcareertech.org/cimc

>>> Won Sun Parque <idmail at wonsun.com> 07/16/07 8:04 PM >>>
Are there really significant enough difference between female users
and male users that is more than what we can find out with our usual
user research?

17 Jul 2007 - 8:03am
John Gr√łtting
2006

There was an interesting piece of research about where people carry
their mobile phones that you might want to read (http://
www.janchipchase.com/blog/archives/2007/04/where_you_carry_1.html).

One of the things that I extracted from this and some similar
research is that the phone is large enough that people want it tucked
away somewhere. For women, this means that it is often in their purse
and they end up missing many calls, although they have the phone at
hand. One might consider providing a very small extension to a phone
that one would keep in a place where one could always be aware of
calls. This might mean a small device near the ear that provides a
sound or vibration. Or, perhaps even Dick Tracy-like, where the
signaling could be integrated into watches.

John Grøtting

Grøtting + Sauter
Barnerstr. 14B
22765 Hamburg
Germany

Tel +49.40.398.34342
SkypeIn +1.818.574.8440
Fax +49.40.398.34340
Mobile +49.172.4246.976
www.g-s.de
g at g-s.de

Am 17.07.2007 um 14:55 schrieb Tracy Boyington:

> Yes, I think so. Look at the iPhone:
>
> Women are more likely to wear dangling earrings. Will they scratch the
> phone's surface?
>
> Women are more likely to have long fingernails. Obviously that's an
> issue. Did Apple consider it and decide the market share was small
> enough to lose? Or did it never occur to them that someone with long
> fingernails would have a difficult time using the product?
>
> Where do you carry your phone? If you're a man, you probably carry it
> in your pocket, or clipped to your belt. Women are far less likely to
> have either pockets or belts. Apple's promotional materials refer to
> carrying the phone "in your pocket." I only know one woman who
> consistently carries her phone in her pocket. The rest of us carry
> it in
> a bag or purse, or in our hand. I can't help but notice that all of
> Apple's materials show the phone being held by a man. Is this because
> it's too large to comfortably hold in a woman's (typically smaller)
> hand? I know one woman who bought her phone based solely on the fact
> that it had a loop to attach a wrist strap. For her, that convenience
> outweighed all other features, because she wouldn't be able to use
> them
> if she couldn't easily carry her phone.
>
> ~~~~~
> Tracy Boyington tracy_boyington at okcareertech.org
> Oklahoma Department of Career & Technology Education
> Stillwater, OK http://www.okcareertech.org/cimc
>
>
>>>> Won Sun Parque <idmail at wonsun.com> 07/16/07 8:04 PM >>>
> Are there really significant enough difference between female users
> and male users that is more than what we can find out with our usual
> user research?
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://beta.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://beta.ixda.org/help
> Unsubscribe ................ http://beta.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> Questions .................. list at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://beta.ixda.org

17 Jul 2007 - 9:10am
Will Parker
2007

On Jul 17, 2007, at 6:03 AM, John Grøtting wrote:

> One might consider providing a very small extension to a phone
> that one would keep in a place where one could always be aware of
> calls. This might mean a small device near the ear that provides a
> sound or vibration.

Ummm, like perhaps some sort of Bluetooth device, maybe?

- Will

Will Parker
wparker at ChannelingDesign.com

“I wish developing great products was as easy as writing a check. If
that were the case, then Microsoft would have great products.” -
Steve Jobs

17 Jul 2007 - 9:50am
.pauric
2006

Tracy: "Did Apple consider it and decide the market share was small
enough to lose? Or did it never occur to them that someone with long
fingernails would have a difficult time using the product?"

You cant be everything to everyone. This is a first generation model
targeted towards early adopter types (who happen to be mostly male).
An even bigger drawback in terms of target markets is the enterprise
class price tag with limited consumer level functionality, but thats
bet that seems to be paying off.

There is a limitation with current multitouch technology sensing
fingernails. I wouldnt point fingers at Apple for not addressing
women.

I'll bet the house they're working on a smaller, cheaper, more
mass-market device that will hopefully address some of the current
input limitations.

Its all about an intersection of
1)available technology
2)time to market
3)cost
(and maybe some other BA stuff I dont know nothing about)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=18267

17 Jul 2007 - 2:29pm
cfmdesigns
2004

>From: pauric <radiorental at gmail.com>
>
>There is a limitation with current multitouch technology sensing
>fingernails. I wouldnt point fingers at Apple for not addressing
>women.

For not addressing women with long fingernails, a smaller set. Few of the women I deal with on a regular basis maintain such nails.

To me, this isn't a matter of ignoring a gender class, but in being unable to adapt the technology (yet) to a physical scenario. The same issue will show up again come winter, when people with gloves on are unable to use their iPhones without removing the gloves. (Which is then an issue of time and weather exposure and just one more thing to carry.)

I wonder if they can rig up for both pressure and capacitance, maybe with a toggle of some sort?

-- Jim

17 Jul 2007 - 3:54pm
Tracy Boyington
2007

Like I said, Apple might have decided the market share was small enough
to lose. I'm not pointing fingers. It would have been a legitimate
business decision, had they done it deliberately. My question was, did
they?

~~~~~
Tracy Boyington tracy_boyington at okcareertech.org
Oklahoma Department of Career & Technology Education
Stillwater, OK http://www.okcareertech.org/cimc

>>> pauric <radiorental at gmail.com> 07/17/07 9:50 AM >>>
Tracy: "Did Apple consider it and decide the market share was small
enough to lose? Or did it never occur to them that someone with long
fingernails would have a difficult time using the product?"

You cant be everything to everyone. This is a first generation model
targeted towards early adopter types (who happen to be mostly male).
An even bigger drawback in terms of target markets is the enterprise
class price tag with limited consumer level functionality, but thats
bet that seems to be paying off.

There is a limitation with current multitouch technology sensing
fingernails. I wouldnt point fingers at Apple for not addressing
women.

17 Jul 2007 - 3:51pm
Susie Robson
2004

But if I point my fingers at them with my long fingernails, will they
even know?

Susie

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
Tracy Boyington
Sent: Tuesday, July 17, 2007 4:54 PM
To: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] What Women Want (was: iPhone usability
tests)

Like I said, Apple might have decided the market share was small enough
to lose. I'm not pointing fingers. It would have been a legitimate
business decision, had they done it deliberately. My question was, did
they?

~~~~~
Tracy Boyington tracy_boyington at okcareertech.org
Oklahoma Department of Career & Technology Education
Stillwater, OK http://www.okcareertech.org/cimc

17 Jul 2007 - 3:56pm
jayeffvee
2007

It will scratch. They might learn! :-)

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
Susie Robson
Sent: Tuesday, July 17, 2007 4:52 PM
To: Tracy Boyington; discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] What Women Want (was: iPhone usability
tests)

But if I point my fingers at them with my long fingernails, will they
even know?

Susie

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
Tracy Boyington
Sent: Tuesday, July 17, 2007 4:54 PM
To: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] What Women Want (was: iPhone usability
tests)

Like I said, Apple might have decided the market share was small enough
to lose. I'm not pointing fingers. It would have been a legitimate
business decision, had they done it deliberately. My question was, did
they?

~~~~~
Tracy Boyington tracy_boyington at okcareertech.org
Oklahoma Department of Career & Technology Education
Stillwater, OK http://www.okcareertech.org/cimc

________________________________________________________________
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22 Jul 2007 - 7:13pm
pnuschke
2007

FWIW, I just ran a usability study of mobile devices... about 25% of women
in that study had long fingernails. Having fingers significantly impacted
their performance to the point they took over twice as long as other women
and one women could not use the devices at all because of her fingernails.

It seems like a pretty large and ignored niche market.

Paul

On 7/17/07, Jim Drew <cfmdesigns at earthlink.net> wrote:
>
> >From: pauric <radiorental at gmail.com>
> >
> >There is a limitation with current multitouch technology sensing
> >fingernails. I wouldnt point fingers at Apple for not addressing
> >women.
>
> For not addressing women with long fingernails, a smaller set. Few of the
> women I deal with on a regular basis maintain such nails.
>
> To me, this isn't a matter of ignoring a gender class, but in being unable
> to adapt the technology (yet) to a physical scenario. The same issue will
> show up again come winter, when people with gloves on are unable to use
> their iPhones without removing the gloves. (Which is then an issue of time
> and weather exposure and just one more thing to carry.)
>
> I wonder if they can rig up for both pressure and capacitance, maybe with
> a toggle of some sort?
>
> -- Jim
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://beta.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://beta.ixda.org/help
> Unsubscribe ................ http://beta.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> Questions .................. list at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://beta.ixda.org
>

22 Jul 2007 - 7:22pm
cfmdesigns
2004

On Jul 22, 2007, at 5:13 PM, Paul Nuschke wrote:

> FWIW, I just ran a usability study of mobile devices... about 25%
> of women
> in that study had long fingernails. Having fingers significantly
> impacted
> their performance to the point they took over twice as long as
> other women
> and one women could not use the devices at all because of her
> fingernails.

Having *fingers* impacted their performance? Women without fingers
using mobile devices… that's what I call a niche market! <grin>

> It seems like a pretty large and ignored niche market.

Without knowing the size of the study or where the women were
recruited from, I'll buy "ignored" but not "large".

-- Jim

22 Jul 2007 - 9:52pm
pnuschke
2007

Funny jokes aside, I thought it was worth mentioning because I too had
assumed that not many women had long fingernails.

During the study, I have to observe hands to see if they were particularly
large, had fingernails, etc. and I was surprised by how many I saw. After
doing the study, I started looking around and noticed that more women had
nails that I would've guessed- I just never noticed because I wasn't looking
for them.

So it's not scientific, but I wouldn't assume that the number of women with
nails is small.

On 7/22/07, Jim Drew <cfmdesigns at earthlink.net> wrote:
>
>
> On Jul 22, 2007, at 5:13 PM, Paul Nuschke wrote:
>
> > FWIW, I just ran a usability study of mobile devices... about 25%
> > of women
> > in that study had long fingernails. Having fingers significantly
> > impacted
> > their performance to the point they took over twice as long as
> > other women
> > and one women could not use the devices at all because of her
> > fingernails.
>
> Having *fingers* impacted their performance? Women without fingers
> using mobile devices… that's what I call a niche market! <grin>
>
>
> > It seems like a pretty large and ignored niche market.
>
> Without knowing the size of the study or where the women were
> recruited from, I'll buy "ignored" but not "large".
>
> -- Jim
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://beta.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://beta.ixda.org/help
> Unsubscribe ................ http://beta.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> Questions .................. list at ixda.org
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>

22 Jul 2007 - 10:06pm
cfmdesigns
2004

I guess I wasn't clear enough on that statement:

* How many people were in the study?
* What percentage were women?
* Where were the people recruited from?

Without this info, for all I can tell, you may have done a study with
four people, all women, one with long nails, recruited over cocktails
at the local "ultra lounge" (where long nails are probably more
common). I'm sure that's not the case, but professing that it's a
"large" number without the info needed to evaluate what "large" is
doesn't help.

-- Jim

On Jul 22, 2007, at 7:52 PM, Paul Nuschke wrote:

> Funny jokes aside, I thought it was worth mentioning because I too had
> assumed that not many women had long fingernails.
>
> During the study, I have to observe hands to see if they were
> particularly
> large, had fingernails, etc. and I was surprised by how many I saw.
> After
> doing the study, I started looking around and noticed that more
> women had
> nails that I would've guessed- I just never noticed because I
> wasn't looking
> for them.
>
> So it's not scientific, but I wouldn't assume that the number of
> women with
> nails is small.
>
>
> On 7/22/07, Jim Drew <cfmdesigns at earthlink.net> wrote:
>>
>>
>> On Jul 22, 2007, at 5:13 PM, Paul Nuschke wrote:
>>
>>> FWIW, I just ran a usability study of mobile devices... about 25%
>>> of women in that study had long fingernails. Having fingers
>>> significantly
>>> impacted their performance to the point they took over twice as
>>> long as
>>> other women and one women could not use the devices at all
>>> because of her
>>> fingernails.
>>
>> Having *fingers* impacted their performance? Women without fingers
>> using mobile devices… that's what I call a niche market! <grin>
>>
>>
>>> It seems like a pretty large and ignored niche market.
>>
>> Without knowing the size of the study or where the women were
>> recruited from, I'll buy "ignored" but not "large".

22 Jul 2007 - 10:29pm
pnuschke
2007

It's an observation based on a usability study of 26 people (about half
women). Unless you're running the largest usability study known to man, you
obviously cannot make conclusions generalizable to a large population (e.g.,
US), but that's besides the point. This is simply one data point, supported
by more unscientific "field" observations which corroborated my observations
in the study. So I think there might be something there, but there aren't
exactly lots of public information sources on fingernail length to provide
supporting evidence.

That's enough on nails for me. :P

On 7/22/07, Jim Drew <cfmdesigns at earthlink.net> wrote:
>
> I guess I wasn't clear enough on that statement:
>
> * How many people were in the study?
> * What percentage were women?
> * Where were the people recruited from?
>
> Without this info, for all I can tell, you may have done a study with
> four people, all women, one with long nails, recruited over cocktails
> at the local "ultra lounge" (where long nails are probably more
> common). I'm sure that's not the case, but professing that it's a
> "large" number without the info needed to evaluate what "large" is
> doesn't help.
>
> -- Jim
>
>
>
> On Jul 22, 2007, at 7:52 PM, Paul Nuschke wrote:
>
> > Funny jokes aside, I thought it was worth mentioning because I too had
> > assumed that not many women had long fingernails.
> >
> > During the study, I have to observe hands to see if they were
> > particularly
> > large, had fingernails, etc. and I was surprised by how many I saw.
> > After
> > doing the study, I started looking around and noticed that more
> > women had
> > nails that I would've guessed- I just never noticed because I
> > wasn't looking
> > for them.
> >
> > So it's not scientific, but I wouldn't assume that the number of
> > women with
> > nails is small.
> >
> >
> > On 7/22/07, Jim Drew <cfmdesigns at earthlink.net> wrote:
> >>
> >>
> >> On Jul 22, 2007, at 5:13 PM, Paul Nuschke wrote:
> >>
> >>> FWIW, I just ran a usability study of mobile devices... about 25%
> >>> of women in that study had long fingernails. Having fingers
> >>> significantly
> >>> impacted their performance to the point they took over twice as
> >>> long as
> >>> other women and one women could not use the devices at all
> >>> because of her
> >>> fingernails.
> >>
> >> Having *fingers* impacted their performance? Women without fingers
> >> using mobile devices… that's what I call a niche market! <grin>
> >>
> >>
> >>> It seems like a pretty large and ignored niche market.
> >>
> >> Without knowing the size of the study or where the women were
> >> recruited from, I'll buy "ignored" but not "large".
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
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23 Jul 2007 - 6:10am
SemanticWill
2007

<poor analogy alert> If a group of users intentionally crippled their index
fingers for aesthetic reasons, would their resultant inability to mouse
click on an interface be a usability issue that needs solving by the
"interaction" designer or highlighted by the usability professional?</poor
analogy alert>

Is it even relevant to bring up the socio-historic origins of long, well
manicured fingernails and how something done by the aristocracy in societies
dating back almost thousands of years to show wealth by means of rendering
their hands almost useless? Many people no doubt forget that it was a sign
of wealth - telegraphing too all that noticed that the owner of the fabulous
manicure was wealthy enough not to need fine motor skills - and had people
to do the daily tasks requiring those skills. Think about it as a less
onerous variation of foot-binding in China.

Playing the devils advocate with myself - given the above premise about long
nails - is it a market opportunity to provide a means of interacting with a
device even after the user has intentionally crippled their fine motor
skills for socio-economic or aesthetic reasons? Should we still be thinking
about this as an affordance issue? Even if it's a conscious choice by the
user?

And if it is - then of course - the market research would have to indicate
what percentage of self-inflicted crippled users were likely buyers of the
device - and what the marginal benefit of inventing a technology - or
changing the current interaction paradigm - to meet their needs.

Just some random thoughts this early morning, perhaps signifying (in the
non-postmodern sense) nothing, as it were.

--
~ we

-------------------------------------
n: will evans
t: user experience non-guru
e: wkevans4 at gmail.com

-------------------------------------

On 7/22/07, Paul Nuschke <plnii11 at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> It's an observation based on a usability study of 26 people (about half
> women). Unless you're running the largest usability study known to man,
> you
> obviously cannot make conclusions generalizable to a large population (e.g
> .,
> US), but that's besides the point. This is simply one data point,
> supported
> by more unscientific "field" observations which corroborated my
> observations
> in the study. So I think there might be something there, but there aren't
> exactly lots of public information sources on fingernail length to provide
> supporting evidence.
>
> That's enough on nails for me. :P
>
>
>

23 Jul 2007 - 6:35am
pnuschke
2007

Hi Will,

Some good questions.... I'm not sure that modern women with fingernails see
it as intentionally crippling their ability to work with their hands. A
couple of the women seemed to think that having nails did not prevent them
from doing anything- for example, they could type on a keyboard without
issues. This brings up a an interesting question- would these women even
care then if a keypad was nail-friendly since they didn't know beforehand
that it was a problem?

It would be interesting to know how many people would shorten their nails so
that they could use devices. I would think that they'd prefer something that
did not force that compromise, though. And there were devices that already
that worked much better for them, so a complete rethinking of the
interaction wouldn't be necessary (except for the capacitive screens).

Paul

On 7/23/07, W Evans <wkevans4 at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> <poor analogy alert> If a group of users intentionally crippled their
> index fingers for aesthetic reasons, would their resultant inability to
> mouse click on an interface be a usability issue that needs solving by the
> "interaction" designer or highlighted by the usability professional?</poor
> analogy alert>
>
> Is it even relevant to bring up the socio-historic origins of long, well
> manicured fingernails and how something done by the aristocracy in societies
> dating back almost thousands of years to show wealth by means of rendering
> their hands almost useless? Many people no doubt forget that it was a sign
> of wealth - telegraphing too all that noticed that the owner of the fabulous
> manicure was wealthy enough not to need fine motor skills - and had people
> to do the daily tasks requiring those skills. Think about it as a less
> onerous variation of foot-binding in China.
>
> Playing the devils advocate with myself - given the above premise about
> long nails - is it a market opportunity to provide a means of interacting
> with a device even after the user has intentionally crippled their fine
> motor skills for socio-economic or aesthetic reasons? Should we still be
> thinking about this as an affordance issue? Even if it's a conscious choice
> by the user?
>
> And if it is - then of course - the market research would have to indicate
> what percentage of self-inflicted crippled users were likely buyers of the
> device - and what the marginal benefit of inventing a technology - or
> changing the current interaction paradigm - to meet their needs.
>
> Just some random thoughts this early morning, perhaps signifying (in the
> non-postmodern sense) nothing, as it were.
>
> --
> ~ we
>
> -------------------------------------
> n: will evans
> t: user experience non-guru
> e: wkevans4 at gmail.com
>
> -------------------------------------
>
> On 7/22/07, Paul Nuschke < plnii11 at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > It's an observation based on a usability study of 26 people (about half
> > women). Unless you're running the largest usability study known to man,
> > you
> > obviously cannot make conclusions generalizable to a large population (
> > e.g.,
> > US), but that's besides the point. This is simply one data point,
> > supported
> > by more unscientific "field" observations which corroborated my
> > observations
> > in the study. So I think there might be something there, but there
> > aren't
> > exactly lots of public information sources on fingernail length to
> > provide
> > supporting evidence.
> >
> > That's enough on nails for me. :P
> >
> >
> >
>
>

23 Jul 2007 - 7:18am
Susie Robson
2004

I can tell you that I would never cut my nails to use a device,
especially when there are alternatives. But I also have never texted
before at all, mostly because I am not an "early adapter" or even close,
so my cell does not do texting. And most people that I communicate with
also do not have texting capabilities. (on a further note, I only got
cable about 5 years ago and still use a dial up at home for my
computers, one of which has Windows 95 on it; some of my friends are not
even that advanced).

I have had long fingernails since the 6th grade (I'm a girly girl) and
they have never impeded me from doing the things I want to do. I type, I
do dishes, I used to play the piano, I garden, etc.

So, I would not cut my nails to use any device, but I would also not
spend that kind of money on a device for any reason. I guess I'm just
not their target audience.

Susie

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
Paul Nuschke
Sent: Monday, July 23, 2007 7:36 AM
To: W Evans
Cc: ixd-discussion
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] What Women Want (was: iPhone usability
tests)

Hi Will,

Some good questions.... I'm not sure that modern women with fingernails
see
it as intentionally crippling their ability to work with their hands. A
couple of the women seemed to think that having nails did not prevent
them
from doing anything- for example, they could type on a keyboard without
issues. This brings up a an interesting question- would these women even
care then if a keypad was nail-friendly since they didn't know
beforehand
that it was a problem?

It would be interesting to know how many people would shorten their
nails so
that they could use devices. I would think that they'd prefer something
that
did not force that compromise, though. And there were devices that
already
that worked much better for them, so a complete rethinking of the
interaction wouldn't be necessary (except for the capacitive screens).

Paul

On 7/23/07, W Evans <wkevans4 at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> <poor analogy alert> If a group of users intentionally crippled their
> index fingers for aesthetic reasons, would their resultant inability
to
> mouse click on an interface be a usability issue that needs solving by
the
> "interaction" designer or highlighted by the usability
professional?</poor
> analogy alert>
>
> Is it even relevant to bring up the socio-historic origins of long,
well
> manicured fingernails and how something done by the aristocracy in
societies
> dating back almost thousands of years to show wealth by means of
rendering
> their hands almost useless? Many people no doubt forget that it was a
sign
> of wealth - telegraphing too all that noticed that the owner of the
fabulous
> manicure was wealthy enough not to need fine motor skills - and had
people
> to do the daily tasks requiring those skills. Think about it as a less
> onerous variation of foot-binding in China.
>
> Playing the devils advocate with myself - given the above premise
about
> long nails - is it a market opportunity to provide a means of
interacting
> with a device even after the user has intentionally crippled their
fine
> motor skills for socio-economic or aesthetic reasons? Should we still
be
> thinking about this as an affordance issue? Even if it's a conscious
choice
> by the user?
>
> And if it is - then of course - the market research would have to
indicate
> what percentage of self-inflicted crippled users were likely buyers of
the
> device - and what the marginal benefit of inventing a technology - or
> changing the current interaction paradigm - to meet their needs.
>
> Just some random thoughts this early morning, perhaps signifying (in
the
> non-postmodern sense) nothing, as it were.
>
> --
> ~ we
>
> -------------------------------------
> n: will evans
> t: user experience non-guru
> e: wkevans4 at gmail.com
>
> -------------------------------------
>
> On 7/22/07, Paul Nuschke < plnii11 at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > It's an observation based on a usability study of 26 people (about
half
> > women). Unless you're running the largest usability study known to
man,
> > you
> > obviously cannot make conclusions generalizable to a large
population (
> > e.g.,
> > US), but that's besides the point. This is simply one data point,
> > supported
> > by more unscientific "field" observations which corroborated my
> > observations
> > in the study. So I think there might be something there, but there
> > aren't
> > exactly lots of public information sources on fingernail length to
> > provide
> > supporting evidence.
> >
> > That's enough on nails for me. :P
> >
> >
> >
>
>
________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
List Guidelines ............ http://beta.ixda.org/guidelines
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23 Jul 2007 - 7:49am
Todd Warfel
2003

On Jul 23, 2007, at 7:10 AM, W Evans wrote:

> <poor analogy alert> If a group of users intentionally crippled
> their index fingers for aesthetic reasons, would their resultant
> inability to mouse click on an interface be a usability issue that
> needs solving by the "interaction" designer or highlighted by the
> usability professional?</poor analogy alert>

Depends on how significant that group is. And to the social-
economical consideration... there are certain areas of the US where
this is more of a problem than others. For example, I've found it is
more common for women in NJ (pretty much the entire state), Long
Island, Houston, and Dallas to have longer manicured nails, or tips,
than other areas of the country like upstate NY, most rural midwest
areas, and northern CA.

Cheers!

Todd Zaki Warfel
President, Design Researcher
Messagefirst | Designing Information. Beautifully.
----------------------------------
Contact Info
Voice: (215) 825-7423
Email: todd at messagefirst.com
AIM: twarfel at mac.com
Blog: http://toddwarfel.com
----------------------------------
In theory, theory and practice are the same.
In practice, they are not.

23 Jul 2007 - 9:14am
Tracy Boyington
2007

Does it matter? If your employer wants to sell a device to as many
people as possible, and a certain percentage of those people have
intentionally crippled their index finger, you don't quibble over the
cause of this usability issue. You decide whether it's a better business
decision to use your limited resources making the device usable for
them, or to use those resources elsewhere.

But as someone else mentioned, there is the glove issue. Suddenly a
larger percentage of people are potentially crippled. Has anyone tried
using the iPhone with gloves yet?

And in case you're wondering, I do not have long nails. :-) In my
office of 16 people, 13 of whom are women, I can only think of one whose
nails are probably long enough to make the iPhone unusable.

~~~~~
Tracy Boyington tracy_boyington at okcareertech.org
Oklahoma Department of Career & Technology Education
Stillwater, OK http://www.okcareertech.org/cimc

>>> "W Evans" <wkevans4 at gmail.com> 07/23/07 6:10 AM >>>
<poor analogy alert> If a group of users intentionally crippled their
index
fingers for aesthetic reasons, would their resultant inability to
mouse
click on an interface be a usability issue that needs solving by the
"interaction" designer or highlighted by the usability
professional?</poor
analogy alert>

23 Jul 2007 - 12:02pm
Cwodtke
2004

I love this answer. Long nails are pervasive, a indicated by the number
of nails shops cropping up like starbucks. In any case, the folks who
care enough to keep long nails also are the ones who care enough about
fashion to have the latest or even two or three phones. a good customer
to have, I'd say.

Tracy Boyington wrote:
> Does it matter? If your employer wants to sell a device to as many
> people as possible, and a certain percentage of those people have
> intentionally crippled their index finger, you don't quibble over the
> cause of this usability issue. You decide whether it's a better business
> decision to use your limited resources making the device usable for
> them, or to use those resources elsewhere.

23 Jul 2007 - 12:16pm
Morten Hjerde
2007

Since the iPhone touchscreen is not sensitive to the fingernail, only the
finger, why is the nail length an issue at all?
The screen should not scratch since it is glass.

Morten

23 Jul 2007 - 12:39pm
Matt Rehkopf
2007

For those interested, I have started a Google Group to discuss designing for the iPhone.

http://groups.google.com/group/iphoneusability

23 Jul 2007 - 12:40pm
SemanticWill
2007

I think there is the glove issue no matter what. I had the old blackberry
8700, and now the blackberry pearl, and i email and sms alot - at least 20+
per day.

Gloves make the keyboard buttons - even with tactile feedback - almost
impossible in Boston cold weather - and I end up not texting and emailing
while outside - it's just too difficult - so i expect the same from the
iPhone - only more so.

On 7/23/07, Christina Wodtke <cwodtke at eleganthack.com> wrote:
>
> I love this answer. Long nails are pervasive, a indicated by the number
> of nails shops cropping up like starbucks. In any case, the folks who
> care enough to keep long nails also are the ones who care enough about
> fashion to have the latest or even two or three phones. a good customer
> to have, I'd say.
>
> Tracy Boyington wrote:
> > Does it matter? If your employer wants to sell a device to as many
> > people as possible, and a certain percentage of those people have
> > intentionally crippled their index finger, you don't quibble over the
> > cause of this usability issue. You decide whether it's a better business
> > decision to use your limited resources making the device usable for
> > them, or to use those resources elsewhere.
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://beta.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://beta.ixda.org/help
> Unsubscribe ................ http://beta.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> Questions .................. list at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://beta.ixda.org
>

--
~ we

-------------------------------------
n: will evans
t: user experience architect
e: wkevans4 at gmail.com

-------------------------------------

23 Jul 2007 - 12:42pm
.pauric
2006

Morten "why is the nail length an issue at all?"

Trigonometry my good friend!

The finger (finger pad to middle joint) -roughly- follows the line of
sight between the users eye and the screen, or.. a few degrees down
off the line of sight.

Too acute an angle and accuracy becomes a problem as the point of
contact moves back from the finger tip on the finger pad.

Less acute angle and the finger nail touches the screen before the
finger pad. Also the finger is no obscuring screen content above the
finger tip.

By my own rough calculations of hitting the screen at approx. 60
degrees, fingernails that extend past the finger tip by 3mm or more
will experience the limitations of capacitive screens.

I hope that clears matter up in a non-glib fashion.

regards :-pauric-:

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=18267

23 Jul 2007 - 12:43pm
Cecily Walker
2006

Because when you have long nails, many of the tasks that would
ordinarily be done with the fingertip are done with the fingernail
instead. If the screen is sensitive enough to take fingernail input
in addition to fingertip input, I agree that it probably won't be an
issue.

On 7/23/07, Morten Hjerde <mhjerde at gmail.com> wrote:
> Since the iPhone touchscreen is not sensitive to the fingernail, only the
> finger, why is the nail length an issue at all?
> The screen should not scratch since it is glass.

23 Jul 2007 - 1:26pm
James Melzer
2004

But the person's thumbs hit the surface of the screen at a much lower
angle than their fingers would. If you are holding the unit with your
other digits (the crackberry prayer) then your thumbs are nearly
parallel to the glass surface. Fingernail length ought to be
irrelevant, or at least something to which you can safely expect
people to find their own ergonomic workaround.

- James

Sent on my iPhone

On Jul 23, 2007, at 1:42 PM, pauric <radiorental at gmail.com> wrote:

> Morten "why is the nail length an issue at all?"
>
> Trigonometry my good friend!
>
> The finger (finger pad to middle joint) -roughly- follows the line of
> sight between the users eye and the screen, or.. a few degrees down
> off the line of sight.
>
> Too acute an angle and accuracy becomes a problem as the point of
> contact moves back from the finger tip on the finger pad.
>
> Less acute angle and the finger nail touches the screen before the
> finger pad. Also the finger is no obscuring screen content above the
> finger tip.
>
> By my own rough calculations of hitting the screen at approx. 60
> degrees, fingernails that extend past the finger tip by 3mm or more
> will experience the limitations of capacitive screens.
>
> I hope that clears matter up in a non-glib fashion.
>
> regards :-pauric-:
>
>
> . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
> Posted from the new ixda.org
> http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=18267
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://beta.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://beta.ixda.org/help
> Unsubscribe ................ http://beta.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> Questions .................. list at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://beta.ixda.org

23 Jul 2007 - 1:37pm
Tracy Boyington
2007

Most of us are presumably accustomed to using our thumb pads and
fingertips on our phones. With a long fingernail, you're using the pads
of your fingers instead of the tips. If you'd like to send me your
iPhone for a month, I'd be happy to get some acrylic nails and
demonstrate this theory for you. I'll take lots of pictures, I promise.
:-)

~~~~~
Tracy Boyington tracy_boyington at okcareertech.org
Oklahoma Department of Career & Technology Education
Stillwater, OK http://www.okcareertech.org/cimc

>>> James Melzer <jamesmelzer at gmail.com> 07/23/07 1:26 PM >>>
But the person's thumbs hit the surface of the screen at a much lower

angle than their fingers would. If you are holding the unit with your

other digits (the crackberry prayer) then your thumbs are nearly
parallel to the glass surface. Fingernail length ought to be
irrelevant, or at least something to which you can safely expect
people to find their own ergonomic workaround.

- James

23 Jul 2007 - 1:42pm
Tracy Boyington
2007

I don't text or e-mail with gloves on, and I probably wouldn't even
attempt to enter a phone number on the keypad. But I do have a big
"joystick" button that I can easily manipulate even with gloves on, so I
can get to the main menu and scroll through my address book, and make a
call by pushing that one big button. If I understand correctly, I cannot
interact with the iPhone at all while wearing gloves (except to pinch
the ear bud cord to accept an incoming call). But I'd love someone who
has actually used an iPhone while gloved to confirm that.

~~~~~
Tracy Boyington tracy_boyington at okcareertech.org
Oklahoma Department of Career & Technology Education
Stillwater, OK http://www.okcareertech.org/cimc

>>> "W Evans" <wkevans4 at gmail.com> 07/23/07 12:40 PM >>>
I think there is the glove issue no matter what. I had the old
blackberry
8700, and now the blackberry pearl, and i email and sms alot - at least
20+
per day.

Gloves make the keyboard buttons - even with tactile feedback - almost
impossible in Boston cold weather - and I end up not texting and
emailing
while outside - it's just too difficult - so i expect the same from
the
iPhone - only more so.

23 Jul 2007 - 1:59pm
Jen Hocko
2006

I love that this has sparked such a lively discussion! :-)

To add to this particular post, I was attempting to use the pads of my
fingers given that I knew my (not really very long, completely natural)
nails would not work.

I first tried that with my thumb (given how I text on my phone today) --
holding the phone in my right hand and using my right thumb. The problem
was that the on-screen keys were so tiny that even with my small thumb
pad (I'm only 5' tall and don't think I have disproportionately freakish
hands :-) this would not work without a lot of error. I then went to use
my index fingers and had somewhat better luck though it didn't
completely alleviate the frustration, and I had to either lose a hand to
hold the phone or put it down on a surface. (Given how I multitask this
is problematic for me too.)

Jen

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
Tracy Boyington
Sent: Monday, July 23, 2007 2:37 PM
To: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] What Women Want (was: iPhone usability
tests)

Most of us are presumably accustomed to using our thumb pads and
fingertips on our phones. With a long fingernail, you're using the pads
of your fingers instead of the tips. If you'd like to send me your
iPhone for a month, I'd be happy to get some acrylic nails and
demonstrate this theory for you. I'll take lots of pictures, I promise.
:-)

~~~~~
Tracy Boyington tracy_boyington at okcareertech.org
Oklahoma Department of Career & Technology Education
Stillwater, OK http://www.okcareertech.org/cimc

>>> James Melzer <jamesmelzer at gmail.com> 07/23/07 1:26 PM >>>
But the person's thumbs hit the surface of the screen at a much lower

angle than their fingers would. If you are holding the unit with your

other digits (the crackberry prayer) then your thumbs are nearly
parallel to the glass surface. Fingernail length ought to be
irrelevant, or at least something to which you can safely expect
people to find their own ergonomic workaround.

- James

________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
List Guidelines ............ http://beta.ixda.org/guidelines
List Help .................. http://beta.ixda.org/help
Unsubscribe ................ http://beta.ixda.org/unsubscribe
Questions .................. list at ixda.org
Home ....................... http://beta.ixda.org

23 Jul 2007 - 2:13pm
SemanticWill
2007

Your not alone Jen. The huge UX team here at my company (all three of us
:-), went over and played with the iPhone after work a few days after the
insanity died down. Even though we were all men with no fingernails - there
were typing on the screen - mistypes, screen capturing the wrong key. I had
somewhat better luck - but my colleagues were completely frustrated, even
though they love the 'idea' and the 'aesthetics' -- mind you, these people
were like me - texting all day long.

On 7/23/07, Jen Hocko <Jen.Hocko at mathworks.com> wrote:
>
> I love that this has sparked such a lively discussion! :-)
>
> To add to this particular post, I was attempting to use the pads of my
> fingers given that I knew my (not really very long, completely natural)
> nails would not work.
>
> I first tried that with my thumb (given how I text on my phone today) --
> holding the phone in my right hand and using my right thumb. The problem
> was that the on-screen keys were so tiny that even with my small thumb
> pad (I'm only 5' tall and don't think I have disproportionately freakish
> hands :-) this would not work without a lot of error. I then went to use
> my index fingers and had somewhat better luck though it didn't
> completely alleviate the frustration, and I had to either lose a hand to
> hold the phone or put it down on a surface. (Given how I multitask this
> is problematic for me too.)
>
> Jen
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
> Tracy Boyington
> Sent: Monday, July 23, 2007 2:37 PM
> To: discuss at lists.interactiondesigners.com
> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] What Women Want (was: iPhone usability
> tests)
>
> Most of us are presumably accustomed to using our thumb pads and
> fingertips on our phones. With a long fingernail, you're using the pads
> of your fingers instead of the tips. If you'd like to send me your
> iPhone for a month, I'd be happy to get some acrylic nails and
> demonstrate this theory for you. I'll take lots of pictures, I promise.
> :-)
>
> ~~~~~
> Tracy Boyington tracy_boyington at okcareertech.org
> Oklahoma Department of Career & Technology Education
> Stillwater, OK http://www.okcareertech.org/cimc
>
>
> >>> James Melzer <jamesmelzer at gmail.com> 07/23/07 1:26 PM >>>
> But the person's thumbs hit the surface of the screen at a much lower
>
> angle than their fingers would. If you are holding the unit with your
>
> other digits (the crackberry prayer) then your thumbs are nearly
> parallel to the glass surface. Fingernail length ought to be
> irrelevant, or at least something to which you can safely expect
> people to find their own ergonomic workaround.
>
> - James
>
>
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--
~ we

-------------------------------------
n: will evans
t: user experience architect
e: wkevans4 at gmail.com

-------------------------------------

23 Jul 2007 - 2:55pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

There's a reasonably easy fix to the iPhone's virtual keypad problems
with regard to typing.

If you notice, the iPhone team had the forethought to add the "click and
drag" means of entering in a key. In this case, with the virtual
keyboard up, you can press and hold on the keypad. It pops a bigger tab
with the letter you are currently selecting. While still pressing down
on the display, you can now drag around until you select the right key.

Notice that while hovering over the right key, you can use your other
hand -- thumb, finger, whatever -- and press the display and the key
will be entered.

Where the iPhone team didn't follow through for whatever reason is that
once you click the display to enter the key, the hover state disappears,
forcing you to have to re-click and drag to get it back. Had they just
left the hover state on while you press and hold, you'd be able to slide
around with one hand choosing letters and using the other to tap the
surface to enter the letter.

I think this one simple change would make typing with that virtual
keypad about a thousand times easier.

As a concept, it's something I tend to refer to as "sloppy interaction."
That is, an interaction that doesn't require pin point or pixel level
precision. In the case of the iPhone virtual keyboard, small fingers or
fighter pilot like dexterity. The same concept goes into something like
the hand tool via the spacebar in Photoshop or Illustrator, or the
"spacebar drag" interaction once you start drawing a marquee.

I think most people will agree that the click and drag part of the
virtual keyboard feels easier and more comfortable than trying to hit
the keys. All the iPhone team has to do is make it possible in a
continuous stream of interaction.

Andrei

23 Jul 2007 - 3:07pm
Andrei Herasimchuk
2004

Also... before I forget. The sort of interaction of sliding with one
finger to select a key and tapping the display with the other to type on
a virtual keypad is finally made possible by the multi-touch sensors on
the display of the iPhone itself.

That piece of technology will change the game for all of us who design
digital products and interfaces and it's about time!

Andrei

23 Jul 2007 - 3:41pm
.pauric
2006

Andrei: "multi-touch technology will change the game for all of us
who design digital products and interfaces and it's about time!"

We're not quite out of the gates yet.

Apple's iPhone patent multi-touch advantage:
http://www.macworld.co.uk/ipod-itunes/news/index.cfm?newsid=18340

They would appear to have it covered from the underlying technology,
the interaction and even the system level design. Respectively..
Multipoint touchscreen: http://tinyurl.com/yps36r
http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=/netahtml/PTO/search-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PG01&s1=Apple.AS.&s2="Multipoint
touchscreen".TTL.&OS=AN/Apple AND TTL/"Multipoint
touchscreen"&RS=AN/Apple AND TTL/"Multipoint touchscreen"

Gestures for touch sensitive input devices: http://tinyurl.com/2bdrmf
http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=/netahtml/PTO/search-bool.html&r=2&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PG01&s1=Apple.AS.&s2=Gestures.TTL.&OS=AN/Apple
AND TTL/Gestures&RS=AN/Apple AND TTL/Gestures

Multi-functional hand-held device
http://tinyurl.com/yrvdyh
http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=/netahtml/PTO/search-bool.html&r=13&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PG01&s1=Hotelling&OS=Hotelling&RS=Hotelling

Now, its true these days that you could file a patent for the stains
in your underwear, and have the USPTO approve it, I think Apple will
make it very hard for anyone to leverage the R&D they put in to the
iPhone.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Posted from the new ixda.org
http://beta.ixda.org/discuss?post=18267

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