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iOS 7 shines as Apple bests Android, Windows Phone in 'user experience shootout'

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 
Following the public release of iOS 7, Apple's newest operating system is thrown into the fire against its strongest competitors in a battery of user experience tests, and coming out on top against Samsung's customized Android build and Microsoft's Windows Phone.

UX Shootout


The study, conducted by technology consultants Pfeiffer Consulting, was designed to gather and compare quantitative user experience data from users of Apple's iOS 6 and newly released iOS 7, Microsoft's Windows Phone 8, Samsung's variant of Android, and BlackBerry's Blackberry 10.

According to Pfeiffer, the test methodology attempts to eliminate as many subjective variables ? like brand loyalty or perception ? as possible, looking only at objective "aspects that have a direct impact on the day-to-day user experience of an average, non-technical user." Pfeiffer hones in on four key points: the operating system's cognitive load, efficiency and integration, options for customization, and user experience friction.

UX Shootout


Cognitive load is a psychological concept that refers, generally, to the number of distinct pieces of information a person must remember and process at once ? for example, a typical 7-digit U.S. telephone number has a cognitive load of 7. To calculate each operating system's cognitive load, Pfeiffer's researchers counted the number of pre-installed applications and user interaction elements in a factory operating system installation.

iOS 7 was bested only by its older sibling in the cognitive load rankings, a difference that Pfeiffer attributes to the addition of Control Center to iOS 7.

Samsung's Android variant came in far behind Apple, Microsoft, and Blackberry's offerings with a cognitive load score more than four times that of iOS 7. Android has long been derided for its user interface complexity, though it is not clear how this metric would have been affected if Google's implementation, rather than Samsung's, had been measured.

UX Shootout


To measure efficiency and integration, the group "analyzed access to key settings, integration with notifications, multitasking, and camera access, among others." iOS 7 and Android shared the top spot in this area, with researchers praising Apple's revamped and "well-implemented" app switching model alongside Android's "mature but slightly overwhelming" options like customizable notifications and shortcuts.

uxshootout-4-20130925.jpg


Samsung's Android took first place the customization rankings with its "dizzying" array of options, while iOS 7 trailed but still handily outperformed relative newcomers Blackberry 10 and Window Phone 8. Microsoft's belated answer to the iPhone was dinged for its lack of support for home screen background images or folders for app organization.

UX Shootout


Apple's entries dominated the user experience friction (UXF) mark, which Pfeiffer explains "occurs whenever a device does not do what you expect it to do - or lacks a key feature that should be available." Control Center again caused iOS 7 to lag behind iOS 6 ? the study found that the feature is "clearly useful," but has "the annoying habit of accidentally popping up" when it is not needed ? though both operating systems still scored around 50 percent better than Samsung's Android, their closest competitor.

Overall, the study found iOS 7 to be the most user friendly of the major operating systems, saying that "Apple has achieved its goal to move iOS into the modern smartphone era. Despite some controversial design aspects, iOS 7 is pleasant and more fluid to use than other mobile operating systems." iOS 6, Blackberry 10, Samsung's Android variant, and Windows Phone 8 rounded out the rankings.
post #2 of 56
And that, ladies and gentlemen as they say, is that!
post #3 of 56
I feel like this comparison should have been done using stock Android. TouchWiz is garbage. Feature-filled garbage.
post #4 of 56

But everyone hates iOS 7. Windows tablets can do two apps at once. This study was clearly Apple biased by having iOS score on top.

 

/s

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wakefinance View Post

I feel like this comparison should have been done using stock Android. TouchWiz is garbage. Feature-filled garbage.

 

Must Android users do not have stock Android so that would bias the results to a niche amount of users. Most Android users have TouchWiz, SenseUI, etc. on their phones since they do not root and install a different ROM. Samsung ships the most Android phones so it's clearly more representative to use what most users will have.

post #5 of 56
Including stock Android UI would have been interesting, but I doubt it would have changed the results much. For having used both, I'm expecting that it would score pretty near Samsung's version on all metrics. I'm more interested about the impartiality of the study; it would not be good to find out that it was indirectly financed by Apple funds.
post #6 of 56
I like iOS 7 so far. I suppose my biggest complaints are with text messages just being harder to read. Not sure what they were thinking with green bubbles and white text. The old color scheme for messages was much easier to read. The phone dialer also just seems a little harder on the eyes. Far too much white and not enough contrast. I tend to prefer darker themes so the previous colors were preferable to me but I do like the new features and the design elements. I just wish we could change the colors to our liking.
post #7 of 56

I am not surprised.

 

Did anybody else recently read about how iOS's Touch response is at least twice as fast as Android's?

 

The spin from the Fandroids on that issue is mindblowing! One excuse after another, with the most common one being that humans can not notice such a small difference. Somebody has to be either on very strong narcotics or in complete denial to not notice how slow and laggy ALL android devices are. I've been saying it for ages, and now it's being validated by scientific tests and evidence.

 

I could never use any Android device. It doesn't matter if an eight core model came out tomorrow. It'll be just as laggy, slow and unresponsive as all the rest. And I can definitely notice the difference between 50 and 100 milliseconds, and so can most Apple users. Hell, I can even notice the difference between 1 millisecond and 2 milliseconds, when it comes to audio.

 

All the specs in the world don't mean anything at all, when the user experience is crap and substandard. This is also why I'd never, ever hire a Fandroid who thinks that their device is smooth and fast, just like Apple's. They're either on drugs or their senses are so dulled, that they would be worthless to me.

post #8 of 56
Duh!
post #9 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by LordJohnWhorfin View Post

I'm more interested about the impartiality of the study; it would not be good to find out that it was indirectly financed by Apple funds.

Yeah, we better spread seeds of FUD that anything positive about Apple must only be because they could've been paid off to do so. :rolleyes: 

post #10 of 56

It's interesting that iOS 6 actually beat iOS 7 in a few metrics. Also Windows Phone did laughably bad.

post #11 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbook View Post
 

It's interesting that iOS 6 actually beat iOS 7 in a few metrics. Also Windows Phone did laughably bad.

 

It's probably because the users were more used to iOS 6 and they weren't used to iOS 7 since it's new.

post #12 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbook View Post
 

It's interesting that iOS 6 actually beat iOS 7 in a few metrics. Also Windows Phone did laughably bad.

 

Probably mostly because the zoom in/zoom out animations for app launch and minimizing are longer than the launch effects in iOS 6. It would be nice if those could be made faster as it really doesn't serve much purpose. In most testing I've seen comparing iOS 6 to iOS 7 it seems to add around a second or more depending on the device which in some cases doubles or more the amount of time it takes to launch.


Edited by MikeJones - 9/24/13 at 10:58am
post #13 of 56
I find it interesting that Windows Phone lags behind BB.
post #14 of 56

I wonder what version of Android they were using. 4.3, 4.2, 4.1, 4.0, 3.x, 2.x, etc etc.  I know they were using Samsung, but each version of Android on each mfg units are slightly different, which confuses these tests even further.

post #15 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by drblank View Post
 

I wonder what version of Android they were using. 4.3, 4.2, 4.1, 4.0, 3.x, 2.x, etc etc.  I know they were using Samsung, but each version of Android on each mfg units are slightly different, which confuses these tests even further.

 

The PDF says they used a Galaxy S4 so at least 4.2.2.

post #16 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnash View Post

I find it interesting that Windows Phone lags behind BB.

 

I second that.  From afar, I respect MS phone 8 for its novel take on things but looks like maybe they have some usability issues.

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post #17 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

I like iOS 7 so far. I suppose my biggest complaints are with text messages just being harder to read. Not sure what they were thinking with green bubbles and white text. The old color scheme for messages was much easier to read.

 

The gradient they applied to the text bubbles decreases the contrast  at the top of the screen, too.

Slightly increasing the Text Size (under Settings, General) helped me out considerably.

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post #18 of 56
Don't tell that to Joshua Topolsky from The Verge. He hates iOS7 and completely trashed it on the past vergecast podcast.
post #19 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJones View Post
 

 

Probably mostly because the zoom in/zoom out animations for app launch and minimizing are longer than the launch effects in iOS 6. It would be nice if those could be made faster as it really doesn't serve much purpose. In most testing I've seen comparing iOS 6 to iOS 7 it seems to add around a second or more depending on the device which in some cases doubles or more the amount of time it takes to launch.

 

The animations are as fast as iOS 6 on my 5S. But they were a bit laggy on the 4S I traded in. I wonder if Apple did that on purpose to push people to upgrade? ;)

post #20 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by SiMBa37 View Post

Don't tell that to Joshua Topolsky from The Verge. He hates iOS7 and completely trashed it on the past vergecast podcast.

 

The Verge pretty much sucks now too. It's not even a tech site. They keep mixing in political crap, and I'm not interested in their politics.

post #21 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SiMBa37 View Post

Don't tell that to Joshua Topolsky from The Verge. He hates iOS7 and completely trashed it on the past vergecast podcast.

 

The Verge pretty much sucks now too. It's not even a tech site. They keep mixing in political crap, and I'm not interested in their politics.

Except that Tim Cook is always quoting them in his presentations, giving them undue validation. It bothers the heck out of me, since I cannot think of a tech site that deserves it less.

post #22 of 56

It is probable that this study was funded by Apple.  Pfeiffer lists Apple as one of their clients on their website, and when you look at the list of their "reports", they all seemingly correspond to their client list.  Also, the report itself is very subjective (particularly, when you read the detailed PDF version) and seems to have an Apple-centric agenda in the writing.

 

Lets see, their various reports are based upon iOS, Mac OS X, Adobe CS 6, Maya and 3DS Max with praise for those products. Who are their listed clients? Adobe, Apple and Autodesk.


Edited by Negafox - 9/24/13 at 11:51am
post #23 of 56
Not a fan of iOS 7. It's a pain, it's ugly and some functions are not just a failure on the intuitive scale, they remind me of useless steps often required by Microsoft. Most frustrating is that iOS 7 is a battery hog, which is the last thing iOS users needed. Users have to turn off a lot of those new, snazzy features in order to have any battery life. I'm also getting some iTunes and app error messages on a 2-month-old device.
post #24 of 56
gwmac
2013/09/24 01:35pm

I like iOS 7 so far. I suppose my biggest complaints are with text messages just being harder to read. Not sure what they were thinking with green bubbles and white text. The old color scheme for messages was much easier to read. The phone dialer also just seems a little harder on the eyes. Far too much white and not enough contrast. I tend to prefer darker themes so the previous colors were preferable to me but I do like the new features and the design elements. I just wish we could change the colors to our liking.


Go into Settings-General-Accessibility.
You can change your font size. Even make everything bold.
post #25 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

 

The spin from the Fandroids on that issue is mindblowing!

 

I could never use any Android device. It doesn't matter if an eight core model came out tomorrow. It'll be just as laggy, slow and unresponsive as all the rest.  They're either on drugs or their senses are so dulled, that they would be worthless to me.

Cut down on the Red Bull .......

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post #26 of 56
Droidboyz love customizing everything about Android. If they like to play with their smartphones like little toys, then let them. The average consumer smartphone user probably doesn't bother to play with their smartphones and prefer to just use them. Not everyone who buys a smartphone wants to get overwhelmed by Android OS featur-itis.
post #27 of 56

I bet this Touchwiz quick settings panel accounts for most of Samsung's "cognitive load" score.

 


Edited by d4NjvRzf - 9/24/13 at 1:10pm
post #28 of 56
But but but ... Open! Big screen! Activations!
post #29 of 56

Now do this same survey with someone who bought an Android phone 2 years ago and can't get it updated to Jelly Bean.  Android is such a joke since all those Samdung S4 that were sold recently will be running on an outdated OS when KitKat releases in a few months.

post #30 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by PScooter63 View Post
 

 

The gradient they applied to the text bubbles decreases the contrast  at the top of the screen, too.

Slightly increasing the Text Size (under Settings, General) helped me out considerably.

 

I increased the text size and also applied the Bold setting. Weird that my phone had to reboot for bold to take effect. That does help a little but I still can't help but miss the old green and blue bubbles with black text. Grey/Black and Green/white with a white background is really just ugly and also harder to read. I suppose I will get used to it since I don't have much of a choice until a jailbreak is released and I can change it. I don't see this color scheme for text messages lasting with iOS 8. It really wouldn't be that hard to just let us choose the colors we want which would be far better. I would also like a day and a night mode similar to Maps since I find all the white far more jarring at night. 

post #31 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeJones View Post
 

Must Android users do not have stock Android so that would bias the results to a niche amount of users. Most Android users have TouchWiz, SenseUI, etc. on their phones since they do not root and install a different ROM. Samsung ships the most Android phones so it's clearly more representative to use what most users will have.

 

I realize that, but if you're comparing operating systems, compare the operating system as it is designed, not with a layer of crap on top.

post #32 of 56
I think Apple missed the boat on IOS7 in a few areas. I
1. Lack of contrast and definition. Example: the calendar display now forces you to look carefully and read the information in order to either absorb the content or make inputs. IOS6 was superior in that one could simply look in a specific place for a recognizable shape or color.
2. Reminders has lost it's calendar displays. And it is much slower to wait until completed items find their way to the top of the list (used to be so nice on a separate page) so that they can be very slowly cleared one by one.
3. Text messages need to have the blue and green brightness reduced. It is more difficult to read now, causes more eyestrain (I wear glasses), and by simply reducing brightness it gets the same job done.
Whoever is the guy Apple hired to get rid of skeumorphism (sp?) kind of went overboard. I think he may have thrown out the baby along with the bathwater. There is a happy medium between the two extremes. We have now gone to the extreme.
But then, it's still the best IOS available. I'd just like to see it lean a little way back in the other direction.
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post #33 of 56

I think iOS 7 adds two great features, Control Center, and Translucency, but everything else seems bad about it. The app icons should have been translucent or dynamic to the wallpaper instead of the same color scheme as before.  The bottom dock makes it feel less organic than the glass version and it would have been better if the dock instead of being glass or blurry, just a wave of light passing through like an aurora, or something that changed with time or touch motions around the apps. iOS 7 thin fonts make it harder to read on old PPI technology like the one found in the iPad Mini, and I'm not fond of it's look in either the 4th gen iPad or would be if I saw it on an iPad Mini. I believe the Music App is too white and the lack of colors just makes Apple look lazy.

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post #34 of 56

it would really be nice if Apple could offer a "classic" version for those of us who think that the new look sucks even though a lot of things work faster.

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post #35 of 56
As much as I admire J Ive the kiddy interface of iOS7 is frankly a bit much and not very well done.
post #36 of 56

Actually, the stock android UI is pretty good, in terms if speed, but everybody hates it or just want to make something to stand out. If there is a S4 with stock android, I think it will be par with iOS (I mean compare with almost 2x on-the-book spec of iOS).

 

Man, don't you hate people complain about the iOS7 UI. The old master is dead, and now the new kids in town, and they still can pleased +80% of their client, they must be doing a good job here. It is a new start for Apple.

post #37 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Negafox View Post
 

It is probable that this study was funded by Apple.  Pfeiffer lists Apple as one of their clients on their website, and when you look at the list of their "reports", they all seemingly correspond to their client list.  Also, the report itself is very subjective (particularly, when you read the detailed PDF version) and seems to have an Apple-centric agenda in the writing.

 

Lets see, their various reports are based upon iOS, Mac OS X, Adobe CS 6, Maya and 3DS Max with praise for those products. Who are their listed clients? Adobe, Apple and Autodesk.

 

yeah sure if you say so. did you actually read their report? usually helps to criticize based on evidence in the thing itself instead of speculation. it's quite interesting. their evaluations make sense and appear consistent, tho any of us might focus on some other details they did not.

post #38 of 56

what really stood out in this report was how bad Windows Phone is. after some reflection, i think whether it's phones or tablets - or even now the W8 desktop OS - MS still thinks it can dictate that consumers will have to use its products, whether they really like them or not.

 

but a great many - most - now don't. and now they have other very practical alternatives they like more.

 

MS made the classic mistake of thinking Windows users actually loved them. they still can't face the truth it was by necessity, not choice.

 

ps: it was really only the IT guys who really loved/still love MS. because it guaranteed their internal company power niche and perpetual employment keeping that mess working. i should know, i had to pay those guys for it.

post #39 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfiejr View Post
 

 

yeah sure if you say so. did you actually read their report? usually helps to criticize based on evidence in the thing itself instead of speculation. it's quite interesting. their evaluations make sense and appear consistent, tho any of us might focus on some other details they did not.

 

Yes -- I did read the report (among other reports) which contained numerous red flags this report may have been funded by Apple which led to some investigation on my part.

 

Pfeiffer Reports appears to actually be a marketing firm.  Feel free to read the following page in detail along with their list of clients -- including Apple:

http://pfeifferreport.com/research-services.html

 

Quote:
You just know it: your product is better. It has that special something that can really make the difference.

But how do you show it? Good marketing will help. But good marketing is helpless if you cannot really quantify the characteristics that set your product apart from the bunch.

 

Or, how about their About Us page:

http://pfeifferreport.com/about-us.html

Quote:
Our company mission is simple: to help our clients research, document and quantify unique qualities of their products and services.

 

If you glanced at Pfeiffer Report's home page, it lists their clients as well.

 

Clients (listed at bottom, Apple second on the list):

http://www.pfeifferreport.com/

 

Reports (all reports appear to be in favor of the clients):

http://www.pfeifferreport.com/v2/downloads/


Edited by Negafox - 9/24/13 at 6:47pm
post #40 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by LordJohnWhorfin View Post

Including stock Android UI would have been interesting, but I doubt it would have changed the results much. For having used both, I'm expecting that it would score pretty near Samsung's version on all metrics. I'm more interested about the impartiality of the study; it would not be good to find out that it was indirectly financed by Apple funds.

I think you are confusing Apple with Samsung, who pays celebrities to dish Apple (caught comically making their anti-apple posts from their iPhones and iPads), and has been hiring students to post negative iPhone comments all over the net.
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