March 20, 2006
Opinion: Research on Web useability is easy to find, but not so for operating systems and hardware. We need a new lexicon for understanding differences between devices.
Written by Andreas Pfeiffer
In 2005 and early 2006, my company, Pfeiffer Consulting, conducted an extensive research project collecting information about Macintosh and Windows operating systems.
During the research interviews, which included users of both platforms, many Macintosh users stated that they found their computers “more fluid,” more productive, easier to use. They were, however, most often at a loss when they were asked to quantify their perceptions.
This discrepancy between user perception and technical features led us to have a closer look at user interface differences, usability and productivity. During this research, we realized that the terms and concepts we use to analyze technology have remained surprisingly simplistic given the importance digital tools and devices have in our lives.