WAP usability report
December 8, 2000 7:01 AM   Subscribe

WAP usability report - Cheap! only 18 bucks, Jakob cares about you, otherwise he would have charged you 80k.
Quick run-down : 70% of the users answered no when asked whether they would like to have a WAP phone within one year; even the simplest tasks take much too much time to provide any satisfaction to users; even after spending a week using a WAP phone, user performance remained appallingly low;
posted by tiaka (6 comments total)
Oh great, more nuggets of joy from Reverend Jakob
posted by tj at 7:26 AM on December 8, 2000

(Ever notice how Jakob often goes after easy targets?)

It's pretty clear to anyone that's ever tried it, WAP usability blows. Most sites with content are basically gopher on a handheld, and requires a lot of patience, for very little payoff. Woo hoo. Big surprise.

The web-based applications I've used with my phone were only used for the sake of novelty. You can paypal someone ten bucks over your phone, but it takes several minutes of fumbling with numbers and menu screens to complete what would normally take two screens and 30 seconds on a computer. You can check and read your email, but since the display is only around 3 lines with 20-30 chars per line, it's so uncomfortable that it's only usable in emergency situations.
posted by mathowie at 7:39 AM on December 8, 2000

Matt, you should try the Mitubishi T250 that AT&T supports for the PocketNet service. Granted, it's still not a great UI for web-based stuff, but the screen is 10 lines long instead of 3. It's actually usable for checking email, although I wouldn't want to write a long reply using it. It has the T9 recognition stuff installed and it actually works, "guessing" the word I'm typing about 80% of the time.
posted by m.polo at 7:44 AM on December 8, 2000

as much as i loathe to say it... i think jakob has done the industry a service here.

the last thing the e-commerce industry needs is another mirage towards which to throw gobs of money. web commerce is crumbling around us and only the strong (read as: good, practical ideas) will survive.

posted by o2b at 7:56 AM on December 8, 2000

No, no, let the money-throwers toss green at WAP. The rest of us will build the real web.
posted by dhartung at 9:39 AM on December 8, 2000

Good point, Dan.

There's a nice piece in the October issue of Network magazine that makes the point that technology product planners have a really bad habit of designing things that look like they might be cool, rather than making any effort at all to see if they'll sell before turning them into products.

Now, I know that you can't always tell *what* people will buy, and that even the people themselves don't know... and, to do a little cross pollination, that some things -- like Iridium, maybe? -- are too big to pilot test, but even so, it would be nice to have some sort of idea that you're not throwing people's money down a hole, no?

It is nice to have some anecdotal evidence that WAP sucks, to go along with the analysis, though...
posted by baylink at 1:20 PM on December 8, 2000

« Older The Tomb Raider Teaser...   |   Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments