Smart phones can be too confusing

Smart phones can be too confusing
In a world where technology is always advancing, there seems to be a direct correlation between frustrating users and complex mobiles. Cell phones that pack a lot of rich features are constantly being released to consumers. Some may find the features quite helpful or just a way to show off the cool factor of a device. But all the powerful features of the device can cause users to get so frustrated that they end up using it just as a basic phone. There is a study that displays the difference between how manufacturers constantly bunch tons of features into their phones and how that affects the consumer by leaving them wondering how to explore it. Mformation surveyed 4,000 people throughout the U.S. and United Kingdom. They found that a staggering 85% indicated that they were frustrated with how complex their phone came out to be. In addition, 61% of people thought it was difficult setting up their device and 95% indicated that they would be willing to try new services if they were easier to set up. This is quite true for an average mobile phone user who switches to a complex device such as any smart phone. The report also cited how the iPhone and Android operating systems have made the transition to a smart phone for some users a little bit easier. Heavy menu driven interfaces and unintuitive controls can keep any potential user from realizing the true potential of their device. It can even get to the point where the consumer would return a phone and purchase a more basic one. We’re glad to see how newer mobile platforms are making it easier for any user to navigate and utilize their new phone to its fullest potential.

source: BBC via IntoMobile



1. Fanboys Suck

Posts: 609; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

Look, if you want to make a smart phone "smart" and easy to use, make the ability to perform a task or search through options (customize, change ringtones, look up email, messaging, phone log, camera... etc), then make the software redundant. By redundant, I don't mean retarded, I mean make whatever you are doing have multiple ways of doing or accomplishing it. Take for instance, while on a computer, if you want to copy and paste something, you can do it multiple ways (right click, menu bar, ctrl+c then ctrl+v). I develop database software and the one thing I get all the time is that my databases are so easy to use. It is because I design them with "user friendly" in mind. I use big buttons on the screen. If go to a form, and while using it you need to go to another form as well, it easily has the ability to select something else. Make it redundant to make it easy... or maybe just use common sense when designing something.

2. Kiltlifter

Posts: 742; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

I think the problem is people don't want to spend the time getting to understand their phone, read the help files that every single smartphone has installed on the device, or look on mobile forums for quick answers. Instead they call AT&T or Verizon or Sprint and ask how to use the Apple, Windows, or Linux based phone. Why not go to,, or and LOOK!!!!!! It isn't hard. If you don't think you need a smartphone, DON'T BUY IT! research before you purchase. Would you buy a car without knowing the slightest thing about it? If you are smart you asnswer that question with a "No." If you aren't, go buy a Touch Pro....

5. brikz4real

Posts: 173; Member since: Dec 24, 2008 true true. Smart Phones are often purchased by Dumb People....lmao.

3. vzw fanman

Posts: 1977; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

people in this country are too lazy and not patient.

4. iff2mastamatt unregistered

My phone has an app available that could let me control a TV. Now that's pimpin!

6. YouLostTheGame

Posts: 441; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

My phone can fly me to the moon...but I haven't figured out how's too confusing!

7. Big Red

Posts: 101; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

I'm struggling to understand how this is news....

8. Kiltlifter

Posts: 742; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

Let me explain why this is news. The smartphone market this year grew by something like 67% over the previous year thanks to the start of the Motorola Q in 2006 being the first smartphone device to not be thick ugly and carry the label of business attached to it. The Q revolutionized the smartphoen industry, blackberries became slimmer user firendly and apple again revolutionized the touch screen device. This is news because analysts predect the smartphone market to grow by another 80% next year. Google, Windows, Apple, Nokia all need this kind of info and you should thank the post.

9. Fanboys Suck

Posts: 609; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

I'll buy that Mr. Kiltlifer. Nice analysis. :)

10. Big Red

Posts: 101; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

Thank you post. Hows this for a headline: "dumb phones can be too limited in functionality", or how about, "Natural selection fails to kill off clunky smart phones. Reaserchers baffled". I don't need a Phonearena article to tell me that some PDAs have crapy UIs. And I deffinitly could have done without your little history lesson.

11. Maarek Stele

Posts: 24; Member since: Aug 27, 2008

Do you expect EVERYONE to know how to use it out of the box? Savvy people will tinker around the phone and find out how it works. Generic non-computer people who upgrade to the phone will want everything placed in order. Windows Mobile is the most complicated phone. It took a day or 2 to know the routine and now very easy after practice. I prefer Windows Mobile and Andriod over iPhone because they are "smarter" than the app / crap iPhone. The main difference: The iPhone has to run everything through iTunes. Yeah you can jailbreak it, but it's still an app phone. Windows Mobile allows you to turn your phone into a jump drive with the added storage, manage files directly on the phone, edit files remotely, and manage servers. Sure you might find a terminal program for the iPhone, but you can't unzip files, ftp files, or create files directly on your iPhone.

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