What Women Want (was: iPhone usability tests) - slightly OT

23 Jul 2007 - 7:37am
654 reads
Caryn Josephson
2004

I had to laugh, reading this email trail. Back oh, about 25 years ago I was
fresh out of college in my first programming job. My group was close-knit,
and most of them had been with the company 10-15 years - pretty senior. I
was in a co-worker's cube typing up my first piece of code (back in the day
before everyone had their own computer), and it worked! As my co-worker
called everyone over for a demo, our boss happened to walk in. Everyone
gathered around as I proudly showed the code working. My boss nodded and
said "how do you type with those long fingernails"? After picking my jaw up
off the floor I mumbled something incoherent about 'it's not hard'. It
became the running joke in our group after that...

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of Susie
Robson
Sent: Monday, July 23, 2007 7:19 AM
To: Paul Nuschke; W Evans
Cc: ixd-discussion
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] What Women Want (was: iPhone usability tests)

I can tell you that I would never cut my nails to use a device,
especially when there are alternatives. But I also have never texted
before at all, mostly because I am not an "early adapter" or even close,
so my cell does not do texting. And most people that I communicate with
also do not have texting capabilities. (on a further note, I only got
cable about 5 years ago and still use a dial up at home for my
computers, one of which has Windows 95 on it; some of my friends are not
even that advanced).

I have had long fingernails since the 6th grade (I'm a girly girl) and
they have never impeded me from doing the things I want to do. I type, I
do dishes, I used to play the piano, I garden, etc.

So, I would not cut my nails to use any device, but I would also not
spend that kind of money on a device for any reason. I guess I'm just
not their target audience.

Susie

-----Original Message-----
From: discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com] On Behalf Of
Paul Nuschke
Sent: Monday, July 23, 2007 7:36 AM
To: W Evans
Cc: ixd-discussion
Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] What Women Want (was: iPhone usability
tests)

Hi Will,

Some good questions.... I'm not sure that modern women with fingernails
see
it as intentionally crippling their ability to work with their hands. A
couple of the women seemed to think that having nails did not prevent
them
from doing anything- for example, they could type on a keyboard without
issues. This brings up a an interesting question- would these women even
care then if a keypad was nail-friendly since they didn't know
beforehand
that it was a problem?

It would be interesting to know how many people would shorten their
nails so
that they could use devices. I would think that they'd prefer something
that
did not force that compromise, though. And there were devices that
already
that worked much better for them, so a complete rethinking of the
interaction wouldn't be necessary (except for the capacitive screens).

Paul

On 7/23/07, W Evans <wkevans4 at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> <poor analogy alert> If a group of users intentionally crippled their
> index fingers for aesthetic reasons, would their resultant inability
to
> mouse click on an interface be a usability issue that needs solving by
the
> "interaction" designer or highlighted by the usability
professional?</poor
> analogy alert>
>
> Is it even relevant to bring up the socio-historic origins of long,
well
> manicured fingernails and how something done by the aristocracy in
societies
> dating back almost thousands of years to show wealth by means of
rendering
> their hands almost useless? Many people no doubt forget that it was a
sign
> of wealth - telegraphing too all that noticed that the owner of the
fabulous
> manicure was wealthy enough not to need fine motor skills - and had
people
> to do the daily tasks requiring those skills. Think about it as a less
> onerous variation of foot-binding in China.
>
> Playing the devils advocate with myself - given the above premise
about
> long nails - is it a market opportunity to provide a means of
interacting
> with a device even after the user has intentionally crippled their
fine
> motor skills for socio-economic or aesthetic reasons? Should we still
be
> thinking about this as an affordance issue? Even if it's a conscious
choice
> by the user?
>
> And if it is - then of course - the market research would have to
indicate
> what percentage of self-inflicted crippled users were likely buyers of
the
> device - and what the marginal benefit of inventing a technology - or
> changing the current interaction paradigm - to meet their needs.
>
> Just some random thoughts this early morning, perhaps signifying (in
the
> non-postmodern sense) nothing, as it were.
>
> --
> ~ we
>
> -------------------------------------
> n: will evans
> t: user experience non-guru
> e: wkevans4 at gmail.com
>
> -------------------------------------
>
> On 7/22/07, Paul Nuschke < plnii11 at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > It's an observation based on a usability study of 26 people (about
half
> > women). Unless you're running the largest usability study known to
man,
> > you
> > obviously cannot make conclusions generalizable to a large
population (
> > e.g.,
> > US), but that's besides the point. This is simply one data point,
> > supported
> > by more unscientific "field" observations which corroborated my
> > observations
> > in the study. So I think there might be something there, but there
> > aren't
> > exactly lots of public information sources on fingernail length to
> > provide
> > supporting evidence.
> >
> > That's enough on nails for me. :P
> >
> >
> >
>
>
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