It appears that the folks over at the Chicago usability consultancy User Centric decided to do a test of the iPhone's touch interface.Apparently, they got a group of 20 experienced users who all send at least 15 messages a week to see how they would adapt to the iPhone keyboard. Half of them own phones with standard QWERTY thumbpads and the other half own numeric keypads.
They were asked to key in six fixed-length text messages on their own phone and then six on an iPhone, and the time taken for both were recorded.
Says the User Centric report:
For QWERTY users, texting was fast and accurate. But when they switched to the iPhone, they were frustrated with the touch sensitive keyboard.
For numeric phone users who are used to pressing individual number keys multiple times to get a desired letter or character to appear, it took nearly as long to create a message on the iPhone as it did on their ordinary phone.
You can read all about it at The Inquirer, including additional points discussing the error rates (yawn).
You must have noted the bold emphasis on the word "experienced" in the 2nd paragraph above. I don't know about you, but 15 messages doesn't seem particularly impressive to me. I personally average 300 messages a week, and that is a pretty standard figure among my peers.
Anyway, the above news just inspired me to go about our very own (totally unofficial) Texting Championship 2007 on IT News Digest.
That's right, I'm going to furnish a blurb, and you shall tap, multi-touch, or T9 it out on your favorite mobile device. There is no restriction on the type of input device. You shall also time yourself (I've found the analog clock display found in Windows to be useful), and tell us all about it!
Your reward is erm, well bragging rights on IT News Digest. (For TechRepublic mugs, you have to share some end-user horror stories instead.) Anyway, here goes:
IT News Digest is the source of daily tech news for IT professionals. So do tell your friends all about it!
Post your timing here - remember to tell us about your input method as well. Good luck!
Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.