Study Blasts iPhone Keypad

Dennis Faas's picture

A usability study by consulting firm User Centric has found that average cell phone users are more efficient when using a QWERTY keypad than Apple's new iPhone design.

The study involved 20 participants who said they sent text messages at least 15 times per week. Half of these participants owned a QWERTY keypad, and the other half owned a phone with a numeric keypad. None of them had ever used an iPhone.

All participants were asked to copy 12 standard messages that had been created for the study using their own phones. Then the participants were asked to copy the same messages with an iPhone. (Source:

"In general, participants took longer to enter text messages on the iPhone than on their own phone," User Centric reports in the study's summary. "Despite the keyboard similarities, QWERTY phone users took nearly twice as long to enter comparable messages on the iPhone compared to their own phone." (Source:

Since participants were not given much time to familiarize themselves with the iPhone's keypad, the study acknowledges that there were some "limited improvements in keyboard comfort as users progressed through the tasks on the iPhone." But User Centric says that "overall, the findings in the study can be taken as a good representation of what iPhone text messaging is like for a customer who has just bought an iPhone and is using it for the first time. It's important to consider the changes a person has to make when they switch to the iPhone." (Source:

However, some have decided to take the study's findings with a grain of salt,  including Apple CEO Steve Jobs. As Jobs mentioned before the iPhone's release, it could take users three or four days to be comfortable with the new design.

After all, the study examined people in only one day. (Source :


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