The iPhone is one of the least usable phones for sending text and email but gets the highest consumer satisfaction of any smartphone. Why? It’s product design that’s based around experience not features.
Small usability, big love
An average iPhone user makes almost three times more errors per text message than someone using a hard-key QWERTY phone (see
usercentric.com). But googling the terms “iPhone love” gets about 336 million results and the iPhone has higher customer satisfaction than any other smartphone (see JDPower consumer research, here
Experience not features
It’s not just less usable. If anything, the iPhone has less features than many competitors. Mobile email, voicemail and mobile web browsing are hardly new, you can’t forward a text or voicemail and the camera is positively primitive.
But it does have Apple’s trademark obsession about experience. This isn’t just in the fluidity of the interface or the resolved simplicity of the case. If you buy one in an Apple store it will be “served” to you with a flourish like Michelin-starred food.
Product developers spend lots of time benchmarking product features and prioritising them using techniques like conjoint analysis. What we need to do more of is design, customer ethnography and journey mapping to build experiences out of our products.