Mobile phones are so complex you can’t even send an sms

In a study entitled ‘HandyERGO’ conducted by the technical college in Gelsenkirchen in Germany, almost two thirds of the more than 1,200 subjects failed to send a simple SMS using a strange mobile phone.

This vividly illustrates how mobile phone users are often unable to find the basic applications they want to use because of the complexity of the menus they are confronted with.

“Modern everyday technology is often too complicated for the average user,” says Ralph Hinderberger, who heads the German user experience company UE Management.

Hinderberger sees the main problem in what he calls ‘featuritis’ and describes it as a ‘technology disease’ that is currently rampant. “The tendency is for manufacturers to build an increasing number of functions into ever smaller gadgets, and this simply confuses the user,” Hinderberger says.

Read full story (in English)
HandyERGO website (in German only)
HandyERGO study (pdf, 444 kb, 10 pages, in German)

(via Usability in the News)

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