Landmark ATT study that gave us the keypad layout

I was aware of this study before (in my biz, keypad error is serious business) but was struck by something today that’s relevant to my situation: product managers fearing change because it might alienate the installed-base.

The ATT study clearly shows that people prefer, and are more accurately able to use, the existing convention of the rotary-layout. Yet ATT pursued the grid layout we know today (which ranked 3rd best, and 2nd most hated!)

Why? How? What can we as designers take away from this?

That’s really fascinating. As a student I have little experience, but at the small company I interned at, it seemed if I could make a connection with upper management then design success could be possible. Either we must become management ourselves, gain authority over the product development people, or use cold hard research to back up our decisions. Better yet, all 3 of those. I guess even if we do all that, stubborn execs can still dismiss it.

I wonder what the results would be today. Also, I wonder how they made their decision. It seems like it would have been better to go with the two rows of numbers. The keying time wasn’t much lower, but the error rate was. Strange.

cool, thanks for the link man.