Posts Tagged ‘simple’

Usability success stories

November 26, 2007

Apple iPod

When Apple entered the mp3 player market with the iPod in 2001, there were already many rival players in the market, but not really any clear market leader.

Many of the existing players were a classic case of the product design not considering the people who were actually going to use the device – the users.

Some problems included

  • Clunky user interfaces that were a chore to use
  • Poor physical design, leading to strange positioning of buttons and features – a classic being the mis-placed volume control
  • Generally ugly design, though there were the odd exceptions, such as some of the iRiver products.

Once the iPod was released and people were regularly using it, it won people over on two main fronts

  • attractive physical design
  • usability of the user interface – simple to use, easy to learn and very effective

It seemed as if someone had designed an mp3 player that they would want to use themselves, unlike almost all of the rival’s players.

Related Links – iPod on Wikipedia | iPod success on Playlist magazine

Nokia mobile phones

Nokia has been the market leader in mobile phone handsets for some time now. This is partly due to them having been involved in the business before its phenomenal growth in the 1990’s and also their involvement in the GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) standards.

However, I would also say that another major factor in this has been the ease of use of their phones – usability. Accessing the key functions of Nokia phones is always very easy and is a massive plus point for users. After all, who wants to have to search through 5 levels of menu when you want to quickly read an sms that has just come in.

Its not a coincidence that people have said to me many times “Once you’ve used a Nokia phone, you won’t want to move to another brand.” And this is all to do with the usability of the phone, rather than any features or physical design attributes.

Related Links – Nokia Interface Expert on Betanews.com | Nokia on Wikipedia