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93-page report slams iPad user interface

Posted in iPad by Conner Flynn on May 11th, 2010

Well, some one is cranky. That would be Danish doctor Jakob Nielsen, called “the guru of Web page usability” by The New York Times. He has some things to say about the iPad. Specifically the iPad’s user interface. 93 pages worth of something to say. Here’s a summary so you don’t have to read it all:

iPad apps are inconsistent and have low feature discoverability, with frequent user errors due to accidental gestures. An overly strong print metaphor and weird interaction styles cause further usability problems.

Nielsen says that the iPad doesn’t benefit from its iPhone UI, and that the features it shares with the iPhone don’t work as well on the big screen. It all boils down to “a usability problem we haven’t seen since the mid-1990s: Users don’t know where they can …

University report warns that Apple’s glossy screens are a danger

Posted in Apple by Conner Flynn on June 16th, 2009

University report warns that Apple's glossy screens are a dangerDanger. Danger Will Robinson. Apple’s screens are a silent danger just waiting to mess you up. So says an advisory recently published by Queensland University of Technology, which predicts a rash of injuries as a result of users straining to get a clear look at Apple’s “high gloss” screens, due to the ergonomically unsafe postures and positions that result.

If you have such a display, Queensland Tech offers many suggestions for staying healthy: One is placing the monitor so that screen is at a 90 degree angle to overhead lighting, another is closing the curtains or blinds to minimize glare, and adjusting the contrast / turning down the brightness. Most importantly, do not panic!

30% to 40% of D.C’s homeless use cellphones

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on March 23rd, 2009

Nokia 7510 Supernova phoneWhen you think about the homeless, you likely think about wool blankets, shopping carts and cardboard box shelters. Add the cell phone to that list. According to advocates who work with the district’s homeless, the proportion of homeless people who own and use a cellphone is 30% to 40%.

It seems bizarre, but the gadget once considered a luxury, is now being used by the homeless to keep up with food stamp programs, housing applications and checking emails. There’s also the obvious need for the 911 feature. It makes sense, as a pay as you go phone with 200 minutes can cost about $20 or $30. It’s a lifeline.