Question for the boards: how good are people at using their phones?

I’ve seen various numbers for how many people own smartphones (80~90%), but I’ve never ran across a report of how many people are comfortable using them. Has anyone seen a good resource describing how well people are able to use their phones?


How would you define good or comfortable? Would you expect them to rate themselves in particular use categories or would you be looking for a study where people were observed and rated? Or doesn’t matter? What categories would you be looking for? (IE texting, camera, editing and sending pics and video, social media platforms, email, syncing contacts emails and photos across devices)

I haven’t seen one either way but just curious.

I have no idea how it would be measured. I would imagine that you could run a usability test on the core features (SMS, call someone, send an email). I have to assume that companies have this data as a starting point to determine ROI for usability projects.

I’m just curious and looking for any reference.

I don’t know of any specific usability score for the “overall” phone experience. Often times carriers have some specific requirements they push into the manufacturers or Google and then each team manages its own usability metrics and KPIs.

For example it’s unlikely that the team working on SMS messaging is also working on the browser.

All of those companies have large dedicated UX research/Human factors teams plus lots of consultants that measure usability metrics like time to task (how long does it take to send an SMS, what is the overall satisfaction) and then improvements are measured off of that.

Yesterday, I found some academic papers that divided test subjects into novice, intermediate and advanced users. However, they weren’t measuring how many people fall into those categories…I’ll keep digging!

I’d want to know who the new power users are, the ones who have internalized various-fingered-swipes from various screen angles to speed up their multi-tasking.

Ten years ago this was the person who knew the five-finger keyboard combinations in Photoshop.