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iPhone Application Usability

iPhone Application Usability

When we design an application at Squareware we always have to keep the user in mind. Usability of iPhone applications should be kept simple so the user simply doesn’t have to think.

This presentation called ‘How people really use the iPhone‘ (by Create with Context) shows a facinating insight about the behavior of ordinary iPhone users as they navigate apps and try to use features.

Their research showed that some of the tasks that experienced iPhone users would consider trivially simple were much more complicated for newbies to the interface. Simple things, like the colour of an applications icon when listed on the App Store, had a noticeable effect on user behavior (for example the colour red puts some users off, it seems, by making them think that a “red” app icon is some kind of  danger signal).

Create With Context concludes by listing eight ‘rules of thumb’ for iPhone application development. see the slideshow for a full list, but they include:

  • Take advantage of learned behaviors (if you can make your app work in a similar way to one of the built-in apps, users won’t have to learn anything new)
  • Put space between action widgets (anyone else noticed how easy it is to tap backspace instead of Go?)
  • Provide visual feedback for taps (if the user taps on a button, make it move or do something else, to show that it has been tapped correctly)

If you’d like to discuss an iPhone application to be developed, feel free to call Squareware to discuss your ideas further.