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Hand someone an iPhone and just watch

Recently I’ve met a bunch of people that have never used an iPhone before. I hand them mine and I watch. It’s an interesting experience.

Few observations:

1. The iPhone camera is easier to understand that a typical point & shoot. How many times have you asked a stranger to take your photo with your camera. I’ve done it dozens of times in my life. Everytime, the other nice person says, “which button should i push?” Doesnt leave much confidence but it says a lot about the UI of your every day digital camera.

On the other hand, I’ve given my iPhone to a number of people that have never used one. And I dont have to tell them anything. They know which button to press. Everytime.

2. People know how to pick up the iPhone and access what they need. No manual needed. Not true of 99% of consumer electronics.

3. Constraining the user interface to one physical navigation button on the iPhone is genius. When in doubt, click home. It’s a big deal. TiVo has a “home button” too. When in doubt click the TiVo button and it brings you home. More user interfaces need that ‘go home button’.

4. It’s quite amazing to watch a young child use an iPhone. My three year old knows exactly how to get swipe, flick, double tap and tilt.

And he knows if he’s ever lost, just press the home button.