sábado, setembro 26, 2009

Bad User Design: Phone Connectors Placement

This post is like an outburst! Maybe more a reflection with an call for opinions.
I originally posted this on the samsung forums (Yep! I got a new phone) and got one reply but it still didn't satisfied me.

I want your opinions as well. And if you know power cell-phone users, or cell-phone builders, please also ask them. If there is a good reason for them doing it this way, I want to know.

So here is my rant:



This is something I've always wondered and the more time I spend thinking about it the less I understand!

The cable connector at the side of the phone.

I've just bought an i780 and I love it! The problem is the connector.
I can't find a good explanation of why is the connector hidden behind a flap on the side of the phone. Is extremely annoying having to open the flap every time I want to charge or connect it with my computer. Why can't I just buy a docking station and have it charging and connected in less than a second??

Please, help me understand:

Connector at the bottom:
+ Easy to connect/charge.
+ Can use docks (new $market$ - apple got this pretty well even without being there directly)
+ Can use car stands which are safer (no flying mobiles), hands free (also safer) and it does not deplete battery like when using bluetooth (no point in setting bluetooth always on if you are only going to using it sometimes)
- Connector is visible.
- Connector contacts can become unusable with time? (I'm totally guessing here, never saw it happen).

Connector on the side with flap:
- User has to do more steps in order to achieve he's goal to charge/connect the device. I've also witnessed users looking for the connector only to have someone explain where the flap is.
- User can break the flap which leads to bad user experience.
- Cannot easily charge the device in the car. User might consider too much trouble for small trips.
- Cannot use desk docks for charging/playing media. (The existent third-party docks are simply ridicule! You have to attach a small cable to the side after resting the phone!)
+ Ugly connector is hidden. (Personally I don't find them ugly)

So, why this decision? For me is win-win!



I received one reply that mentioned one good reason for using the annoying flap: protection from debris and if the port is ruined, an expensive repair would ensue.
I refuted this with a simple case: the 3.5'' jack that is unprotected and consequently also a target for the debris. However, cell-makers don't protect this connector port.

So? Comments anyone?

1 Tremura:

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