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What users don’t understand about their iPhone

Users love their smartphones. So, they also know it well, don’t they?

From 27-29 of September, the „Who-is-Who“ of the European Information Architects met in Rome. Gregor Urech and Hermann Hofstetter of Zeix contributed a revealing Case Study about the real user behaviour when handling an iPhone and the consequences for app design.

What users don’t understand about their iPhone (and other things we learned in the process of designing a mobile couponing app).

Users love their smartphones. So, they also know it well, don’t they? – The speakers showed what mobile users do know and like and what stays a mobile phone mystery to them. The insights are based on the user-centered design process of developing a mobile couponing app for SIX Multipay, an international payment services company. The presentation showed the learnings from the usability assessments regarding users‘ knowledge, mental models, expectations and behaviour.

Especially surprising were some insights on the usability of standard iPhone patterns recommended in the iOS human interface guidelines and on how some users use their iPhone.

Also, some hands-on tips for successful testing of apps for mobile devices used to be part of the presentation:

  • How to build testable prototypes for mobile devices
  • How to simulate an app with an HTML prototype
  • Test-setup, observation and recording on mobile device

The application is available in the Swiss App Store and won two bronze awards at the “Best of Swiss Web Award 2012” in the categories “Online Marketing” and “Business Efficiency”.

Some notes from the audience on currybetdotnet.

The slides are available on slideshare.

About the Summit

The European Information Architecture Summit is the annual conference of IA professionals. It is aimed at helping to share experiences across national, cultural, and linguistic boundaries and encourage the practice of information architecture and related disciplines all over Europe. The summit is organised every year in another European country and held in English.


Crowne Plaza Rome – St.Peter’s Via Aurelia Antica, 415 00165 Rome, Italy


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