Year 2: People Project – Report

Mobile, Web & Game Design

Report on User Interface: Apple iPhone

Fig 1.1

For my people project I decided to compile a report on the Apple iPhone. The aim of this report is to find out if I can make the iPhone’s interface and design more interactive to the user. I aim to look at its advantages and disadvantages before making attempts of using my own ideas. I also aim to look it its metaphors and see if they are successful or unsuccessful.

Fig 1.2

The interaction between the user and the iPhone has its advantages and for example its interaction with music is easy and you can also use “Genius” with iTunes to get other songs from the artist if you suddenly decide you like this artist unlike many other phones who don’t have that option.

Touch screen is a fantastic way to use a phone because it is easier than pressing buttons especially when texting or using the Internet according to the website. Multi touch internet browsing is also updated so you can zoom in to the precise location of interest and this is a lot easier than scrolling with buttons and arrow keys. This is justified because according to (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-20001570-94.html) “Touch screens have the edge, surveys show.” Showing that out of 1000 points they were ranked 771 and this was the highest out of all the latest smartphones.

The way you can organise your applications into folders makes applications easier to find as you can name them under certain subjects and with one touch of the folder all the applications you organised into that folder (for example “Organisation”) will appear on the screen for you to see.

However, there are also disadvantages for example the keyboard could be hard to use if you have big fingers and there is a lack of pen or a pointing device to use incase certain people have this problem. The user tested this (as shown below) and he found that he accidently typed the wrong letter in many times when attempting a simple SMS text. The data recorded in this test suggests the compact lettering can be an issue. For my re-design, I will design the iPhone so it has a pen/pointing device at the top of the iPhone is attached to the iPhone as a wireless object.

Fig 1.3

The iPhone uses metaphors such as play, pause, fast forward and rewind and these are well known on VCR players and DVD players… they are also common on iPod’s and most other MP3 players.  The use of the metaphor is successful as people already know it from other devices so when the user wants to play a song for example, he presses the u (play) button.

Fig 1.4

For my task the user powered on the iPhone, slid the unlock button, opened the “Messages” application, he has then attempted a simple text saying the words “hello world” with the pen/pointing device and the user found that is was more sufficient and could be completed quicker and with fewer mistakes. The interface will be redesigned to counteract the mistakes highlighted during the test.

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