All Geek to Me

September 29, 2006

Nokia UI Shortcomings

Filed under: Geek Stuff — britinla @ 6:34 pm

I have a Nokia cellphone. From a UK perspective it is an unusual Nokia design as it a clamshell; a form-factor normally associated with other manufacturers. Overall, I am happy with it, although it is possible to accidentally activate the camera, which does not help battery life. The clamshell does prevent accidental calling, a curse of candy-bar form factors.

There is one aspect of the Nokia interface, however, that now frustrates me after using a Windows Smartphone for eighteen months. Moreover, the shortcoming is in a core feature; address book searching. The Windows Smartphone used a form of predictive text searching in the address book. If you pressed 2, it would show everyone with a,b,c in their name; if you then pressed 5 it would filter down to aj,ak,al,bj,bk,bl,cj,ck,cl. With a third press you would have further filtered the options and normally could see the person you wanted on screen, since most of the twenty-seven possible combinations you have selected are not likely to occur in names. If you pressed 4, only alh,ali,bli, and cli are likely matches. The Nokia however searches using the traditional multi-key press, so if you are looking for Clinton in your address book, three key presses will have got you as far as showing everyone in your address book with names beginning with C.

It may not be common to suggest that Nokia needs to learn about UI design from Microsoft, but this definitely one area where they should do so.


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