Orange is my favorite color

Jason from 37 Signals says the iPhone ads are “Perfect Advertising“. The ads themselves are quite nice but this phone will not work as well in person as it does in the ads because:

  1. Humans have dirty hands. with the entire thing being a screen that you touch, it is going to be filthy. FILTHY. This will lead to frequent cleaning and…
  2. Apple’s poor track record on scratchable devices. The phone is beautiful but consider the problems with the screens on earlier iPods. What will it look like when it rubs against coins or keys in your pocket (You don’t all have hip holsters? Forshame!) or you clean it with something other than a microfiber towel because your filthy hands smeared mustard over the “Accept” button?
  3. Small adjustments are difficult. This is a key complaint of mine with the iPod wheel: moving up or down just one or two items is challenging. Sure, not impossible, and for young kids who have the dexterity of a monkey, it’s cake. I’m not that old and I still have minor (but annoying) issues selecting exactly the item I want without overshooting and backtracking a couple of times. The whole “select a music album” by “throwing” the covers to the left and right is insane. Is there an alternative input mechanism like a rocker button or anything?

And here’s a freebie: doing anything meaningful with the phone appears to require two hands. How often do you answer the phone with one hand? I’m not saying it won’t be possible to use your thumb to both hold and activate the phone, but ten minutes spent watching people use their phones should have clued their research department in on this.

What am I missing?


  1. Nathan Dintenfass said:

    on June 5, 2007 at 9:13 pm

    I have to say I tend to agree — a tactile keyboard seems like a necessity for writing emails/sms with any regularity. That said, Apple certainly has a history of getting HCI right, and I can’t imagine they didn’t think about all of the issues you bring up in depth over the development cycle of the iPhone — so, I guess it’s a wait and see. I was definitely struck by all of the demos at Macworld being done with two hands — maybe people will stop writing emails while driving ;)

  2. JP said:

    on June 5, 2007 at 10:52 pm

    All I know is this, my 61 yr old MOM out of the blue is excited to get her hands on an iphone beacuse it looks easy to use. She cant wait to get one.!!

    PS Her hands seem to be clean!

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