I finally relented and for the iPhone X. Happy new year to me, right? Despite being a UX designer, I am not a gadget geek. I am not an early adopter. In fact, I am just the opposite: I will resist updating and change for as long as possible.
I can’t really explain why I am not super eager to adopt the newest technology right off the bat. I guess it is a combination of fear and anxiety. I don’t want to lose any data, like photos. I don’t want any down time. I don’t want any learning curve. Geez, this is really starting to sound like it is all about me, ha!
I came across an article or two that talked about how the new iPhone was a gesture nightmare. Oh brother, that certainly was not a glowing endorsement for me. I was already unhappy with the iPhone 7 which took away the headphone jack. I guess my silent protest of mot buying the “headphones” version would be in vain because once Apple takes something away, they never give it back. We are forced to adopt. That’s the price you pay with the advancement in technology.
So I got the new phone and of course the first major difference is how do I get in to the thing?? There is no home button. I instantly touched the screen and swiped up. That seemed like the logical thing to do. Well that did nothing. Nope. Then I just tapped on the screen. OK! Progress, that seems to be the magic touch to open the phone. I can do this.
So I decided to go a little deeper in the water to try a few other things: open an app, take a screen shot, close an app, display the percentage of my batter power. These are items I do multiple tomes a day, so these are the most common actions I will be performing.
Opening an app, no problem. Same old, same old.
Closing an app, now that is a different story. That required a good search on my part. Now instead of just swiping up through the apps that are mounted, I now I have to hard press and get the “Do not Enter” street sign to close each window. This seems like additional work. Not to mention a tiny touch target to close an entire window. I am not a fan. Easily discoverable? No. Doable? I guess so.
I am constantly checking the battery power of my phone. OK, maybe I am a little bit OCD about it. (My husband would certainly say so.) I can’t help it, I like to know the exact quantity I am dealing with. So now with the new iPhone X, I cannot instantly see the remaining battery power on my phone. Huge deal killer for me. I am not happy about this. Again, I resorted to Google to see how to turn this on. There are instructions on how to activate this in Settings. Alas, this option is not available. Noooooo! Now I have to do some crazy swipe from an angle at one corner to bring up the Control Center (or whatever the hell is it called) and then do another corner swipe to see battery power. No I have to 2 (TWO!!!!) swipes to get information that was available on the opening of the phone. This is a big problem for me. (Though my husband is probably over there in the corner laughing at me….)
Finally, I wanted to know how to take a screen grab of the phone. The home button was half of the equation on completing this task. So now what? Again, I had to do a Google search to figure out how to accomplish this task. Are you starting to see a pattern here? Yeah me too.
So much for Apple being intuitive. So much for iPhones being so simple to use that I can just pick it up and figure things out by playing around with it a bit. I am not to type of person to just try anything because my fear of “not mucking it up” is more powerful than my desire to try new things. Nope, when it comes to technology, I am a “play it safe” kind of gal.
One really important lesson that has surfaced in my experience is the importance of keeping the user in mind when I am designing something new. All too often, I hear people say, “They will be able to figure it out,” or “It’s pretty intuitive, they will not be bothered by this change.
Ahhh well, I have a refreshed level of empathy for the user. I will design for the type of user who just wants to get things done and does not want to worry about some huge learning curve. I want to make sure that my designs, or change in design will not harm the experience, but will help the experience.