Thursday, September 27, 2007

iPhone 1.1.1 Update - Best New Feature

Apple updated the iPhone to 1.1.1 today. While most of the buzz is around the new iTunes Store, there is a small new feature that makes all the sense in the world: double-tapping the space bar will insert a "." followed by a space. So simple, yet so brilliant.

This is a classic example of taking a use case - a user wants to compose a message - watching users actually do that - and then improving upon it. Previous to this release, they would have to type a sentence, and then tap the ".?123" key to then have to type a period, then switch back. Three taps plus one more for the trailing space just for a period.

With the 1.1.1 update, all a user needs to do is hit space two times, an a period followed by a trailing space instantly appear.

How does this relate to APEX? Simple - once you design an application, you're not done. There are several improvements still to be made, none of which you will be able to identify. Watch your users use your application. You built it for them, after all!

See if they are clicking where you expect them to, and if not, you may need to re-think your design. Look for inefficiencies, such as switching between the mouse & keyboard, and try to improve upon them. Correcting small annoyances in an application will go a long way to build your credibility, if nothing else.

Good design is never correct the first time. Apple is well aware of this, and their decision to make the iPhone so bloody simple to update proves they get it.


chris spierings said...

You're right. Apple do pay so much attention to the usability aspect of their products. I got one a few weeks ago and am throughly impressed. Even without 3g, MMS and all the other goodies I much prefer it to other phones on the market.

Unfortunately due to geographic problems, I won't be trying 1.1.1 for a little while yet ;)

Scott said...

You best not, otherwise you will have an iBrick!

I wonder how long it will be before the new release of iTunes will require iPhone 1.1.1... :)

- Scott -

Anonymous said...

Apple just copied the BlackBerry on this one. That double space functionality has been around for years on their devices.

Scott said...

Apple just copied the BlackBerry on this one. That double space functionality has been around for years on their devices.

And Microsoft will eventually copy them both... :)

I think that you missed my point on this - it doesn't matter where Apple got that idea, but that they spent time to watch users use their phone, identify inefficiencies, and then correct them.

That care & dedication to their users is what I was trying to highlight as something that should carry over to all types of development - APEX and otherwise. If we all just watched how our users used our applications and then made changes to accommodate them, we'd all be better developers.


- Scott -