Why the iPhone just straight up stinks…(but will still sale butt loads)

Reading this review (Tom Yager @ InfoWorld) really drove me to a “final” conclusion on the iphone.iphone

(Please keep in mind that I’m really looking at this from a human-computer interactions (HCI) perspective as that is the scope of this blog.)

Here’s a few excerpts that I thought were fairly poingant :

“iPhone needs a stylus as an option: There are places where the pad at the tip of an adult finger spreads out on pressure to cover an awfully large swath of display space. The result is a human interface that responds beautifully to grand gestures such as one- and two-finger sweeps … and two-finger pinching and spreading …

But if user interface controls are packed too closely together, which applies to most Web sites with forms, it’s impossible to aim for a radio button or a check box without slipping and activating an adjacent control.”

DOH!

Whereas I disagree that the iPhone is just a $1975 ipod (on the basis that we all pay for a cellphone bill every month so that’s pretty close to a fixed cost for anyone purchasing/using a PDA, smartphone, etc…), I think that comments like the following are a really awesome rundown of usability issues.

It doesn’t help that [the] iPhone isn’t tunable. No two people hold [the] iPhone exactly the same way, and your angle of view makes all the difference when you’re poking at a small target on [an] iPhone’s screen. This really shows when you’re using the on-screen keyboard.”

Maybe Mr. Jobs thought he could revolutionize how we layout websites while also getting those pesky phone makers at the same time…

AND FINALLY someone brings up my pet-peeve French Fry Fingers; the three F’s are an important iPhone hurtle:

While you’re on the phone, even the freshest face will leave an oily smear on the display, and during every call, you’re bouncing a hypersensitive touchscreen full of active buttons against your face. The side of my face matches the contour of the phone, but an assistant with more angular features was always muting his call with his cheekbone.”

or Maybe the iPhone just sucks.

Regardless, as a friend of mine mentioned yesterday, the iPhone-bashing is probably mostly a result of Mr. Jobs claiming jobs and iphonethe iPhone to be revolutionary rather than letting the market call it that. (And my friend followed with, “which everyone would have said if it weren’t for the ego-meister looking to buoy his stock…Not that I can blame him…he’s still trying to catch up with msft which is so far outstripped aapl in growth that it’s practically blue chip quality).

As for why it will sell…isn’t that obvious? We’re talking about one of the aesthetically clean designs of Apple…not the functionality over form design of a Dell or IBM. :p

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