A study reports that typing on the iPhone is twice as slow

Chicago-based User Centric, has released the results of a study it made with 20 people. Half of those users had cellphones with QWERTY keyboards, while the other half had numeric keypads.

It took QWERTY users almost twice as long to create the same message on the iPhone as it did on their QWERTY phone. While there was improvement over time, the difference persisted even after using the iPhone for 30 minutes.

Although the study isn’t very big, in terms of the time spent on it, or the number of people who tried the device. I think that the test subjects should have had as much time with the iPhone as they did with any other device.

In my opinion, a better way to conduct the study would be to have the QWERTY cellphone owners testing a numeric and the iPhones inputs, and vice-versa for the keypad-cellphone owners.

Here are some of the other facts that User Centric determined from the study:

  • Most participants said their fingertips were too large for the iPhone touch keyboard.
  • Participants noticed there was no tactile feedback from the iPhone keypad.
  • Participants had 11 errors on the iPhone compared to three on their own phone.
  • Five out of 20 respondents wanted a stylus.
  • Long fingernails could be a problem.

Personally, I don’t find any of the results surprising, but it’s nice to see how big the gap is between the iPhone and it’s “competitors” in terms of writing speed. I expected to be a delay, but from the reports of some iPhone owners, that gap eventually became very small, or even non-existent after a few weeks.

I wonder if the next versions of the iPhone will feature some sort of tactile response, possibly like the response that the new RAZR 2‘s external touchscreen gives.

Would you prefer to have such a response, or do you think it’s just a matter of getting used to the touchscreen?

[Via Between the Lines]

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