Simple Is Better

simple The BBC is reporting on a survey by Mformation that says 61% of UK and US users find setting up and accessing features on mobile phones to complex and confusing. A plea for simplicity? I’m saying yes. Watching some of those near me (my wife, employees, family, etc ) watch me try out and play with the devices I use and test, I see the first glance big eyes when they see some shiny new gadget quickly diminish. As they walk away, I hear statements like, ““I don’t have time to figure that out” or ““too much for a phone.”

On our recent driving trip to Chicago, when my wife was driving I’d ask her to access something on the iPhone and while she would handle some things with relative ease, she’d also get quickly frustrated if my drivers seat instructions didn’t make immediate sense. When I asked her to access features on the Nokia E71 I was testing, that experience turned into one of those husband and wife moments when you know you stop while your ahead. Parallel to this, watching her work with the new HP Mini 1000 these last few days has yielded a similar response. She sticks the icons on the screen she needs and when she’s looking for something else and I tell her to look in the Start Menu, her eyes roll back in her head. If the icon is on the screen, she’s golden. If she has to go looking for it, or has to set something up, she quickly loses interest. Anecdotal, but telling.

Simple is better.