So many of the reviews of the iPhone thus far have complained about the lack of a physical keyboard. Now there’s word that the Android OS, that currently runs on the T-Mobile G1, will get a virtual keyboard included in the next iteration of the software in 2009.
Hold up – the G1 has a great slide-out physical keyboard. It was supposed to be the feature that gave it an advantage over the iPhone.
uh, apparently not:
Users are already pointing out the lack of an iPhone-like virtual keyboard as a shortcoming, as they are forced to turn the phone sideways and open up the screen to access the QWERTY keyboard, which is a two-handed operation. But according to the Android roadmap, a fix is slated for the first quarter of 2009.
Wow. Now the physical keyboard is the shortcoming.
I thought the iPhone’s virtual keyboard was its shortcoming?
Do you see why market research and user testing are a complete waste of time? If we designed products based on what people thought were good ideas, we’d have a phone with 5 keyboards, 3 headphone jacks, a stylus, a standard AND Phillips head screw driver and a place to keep your change.
Let me say this once (or more than once) – consumers don’t know shit.
If you want to have a successful product – ignore what outsiders say and design something that makes sense. Design something that fufills a need.
If your product needs more than one keyboard on it for it to be usable, then the keyboard isn’t the problem – the design of the phone is.
There’s a name for this behavior in product design – it’s call feature creep.
Feature creep (or feeping creaturism) is the proliferation of features in a product such as computer software. Extra features go beyond the basic function of the product and so can result in baroque over-complication rather than simple, elegant design.
I give the Android G1 another year before it looks like a universal remote control with 50 buttons.