Who was it who said “Keep it simple, stupid”? Well, it looks like they may have a point. Almost one-third of smartphone owners in the UK say that ease-of-use is the first thing they look for in a handset, according to a new study.
The survey, which was carried out by comparison site uSwitch.com, shows that basic features tend to be valued more than the innovative and quirky tools that many manufacturers use to sell their products.
After user-friendliness, which was cited as the main priority by 29 per cent of those questioned, call reception and battery life (both 19 per cent) were the second and third most important factors, guardian.com reports. One in ten put app availability at the top of their list.
Only three per cent of the survey’s respondents said unique features are their first consideration, and even those who do have the latest devices rarely use the quirky tools available to them.
Two thirds say they’ve never used eyeball-tracking technology, while 55 per cent don’t use their devices’ voice control applications. Some quirks are deemed useful by many, however, with 56 per cent saying they use fingerprint-scanning on a daily basis.
[themecolor]Brits can spot a gimmick from a mile away[/themecolor]
Ernest Doku, a telecoms specialist from uSwitch.com, thinks the survey results highlight a potential problem for manufacturers. He was quoted as saying: “It’s becoming increasingly hard for smartphone makers to differentiate their handsets from those of their rivals.
“They hope that flash features like Fingerprint ID on the iPhone 5S, or Amazon’s Fire Phone and its ‘Dynamic Perspective’ display, will give their phones the edge. However, our research shows that Brits can spot a gimmick from a mile away.”
Mr Doku went on to say that things could change over time, with many of the features which are currently seen as gimmicks by consumers likely to become basic requirements in the future. He cited front-facing cameras and touchscreen displays as prominent past examples.
KISS is an acronym for “Keep it simple, stupid” as a design principle noted by the U.S. Navy in 1960. The KISS principle states that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated; therefore simplicity should be a key goal in design and unnecessary complexity should be avoided.