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  1. gastr's Avatar
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       #1  
    the other day i had some friends over and was using my Pre3 to listen to music on spotify with it hooked up to external speakers. i was busy and someone wanted to change the music and went to do it themselves. i thought to myself "this will be interesting, to see if they can figure out how to work it".

    they were completely baffled by webOS, barely understanding how to unlock it, not getting the gesture area and therefore not knowing how to go back a screen, change apps, etc. the gesture area doesn't look like it's supposed to be interacted with so they're just looking at the screen thinking "err... how do i go back?". they tapped around the screen, accidentally changed tracks, then failed to find the volume control (although i have to admit, that's a bit thick), and then gave up.

    anyway... i wanted to ask what you thought about this. is webos unintuitive to new users? i think it is (it's completely intuitive once you know it, but not until then). has this unintuitiveness been a barrier to entry in the past and hurt webos? yes i know hardware is an issue, carrier support, etc., etc., but i'm just wondering what people think about it's intuitiveness (or lack thereof).

    i'm a techie, and i wanted a webos phone since i watched the CES announcement in '09, but "normal people" don't work that way. surely an OS has to be simple and intuitive on first-use in order for it to catch on?
  2. #2  
    It does have a pretty steep learning curve of about 15 seconds or so, my girlfriend even figured it out in less than 30.
  3. #3  
    Back when I got the Pre + (my first smartphone) I remember thinking the pre was more intuitive than the (just released) Droid.

    I don't remember if I had already read about the touch area or not, but I do remember figuring out the "swipe up to delete" thing myself and thinking it was pretty intuitive.

    That said, for people coming from an android (or an iphone likely) the webos device is the new, unintuitive gadget that doesn't make sense. People indoctrinated with all things palm the last couple of years seem to find this notion impossible to accept though.

    Also fwiw, I think android has done more growing over the last 2 years to become “more intuitive” than webos has. Although I can’t say as I have a feel for which is more “intuitive” from the start now as both of them get pretty familiar after about a day’s worth of use.

    -Suntan
  4. cgk
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    #4  
    On this question I agree with Josh Topolsky

    It's an elegant operating system. well guess? what nobody cares, nobody cares.
    I think that it's hands down the easiest system to learn and the most fun to use but nobody cares, nobody cares - it made no difference to sales one way or the other.
  5. cgk
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    #5  
    Quote Originally Posted by urresidentcomedian View Post
    Most elegant? Yes.

    Most fun? Probably.

    Most productive? No way.

    Most intuitive? Depends on the user.
    Right - which is why I don't care that it's the most elegant - swiping cards is no use at all to me when I need a document editor that actually saves and a PDF reader that is readable.
    StuckwVerizon likes this.
  6. #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by LizardWiz View Post
    It does have a pretty steep learning curve of about 15 seconds or so, my girlfriend even figured it out in less than 30.
    The 15 seconds of learning curve unfortunately does it in in many cases. They're looking for a home or back button and can't find it with gestures. Then they write webOS off. Grrr....
  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by urresidentcomedian View Post
    Most elegant? Yes.

    Most fun? Probably.

    Most productive? No way.

    Most intuitive? Depends on the user.
    That's actually what has been most frustrating to me because I think the way webOS multitasks makes it the best for actually working between documents and other apps. If only there were apps to work on things with. I haven't really tried to use quickoffice to produce since the touchpad is mostly a toy for me.

    I miss being able to use my Pre as my business phone though.

    nnb
  8. #8  
    Also, I think webOS is the easiest to use OS once you've had a tutorial. In comparison to iOS, it isn't as easy to pick up and use to its detriment.

    When I tried to pass my phone off to my sister to look up directions while I was driving, I noticed that she was lost.

    Android on the other hand is fairly straight forward with its menu driven approach, but those same menus hide things that I usually think should be apparent on screen. I've run into multiple consumers who didn't even know how to set up their home screen, but seemed to love their Android phone.

    I guess it just comes down to consumer education.
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by LizardWiz View Post
    It does have a pretty steep learning curve of about 15 seconds or so, my girlfriend even figured it out in less than 30.
    And how many threads do we see on here saying that Android is clunky or iOS stinks because a webOS user has spent exactly as much time using the UI as the OP mentions here?

    Here are just two examples from the last couple of days:

    http://forums.precentral.net/webos-d...-vs-webos.html

    http://forums.precentral.net/webos-d...out-webos.html
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by laoh View Post
    The 15 seconds of learning curve unfortunately does it in in many cases. They're looking for a home or back button and can't find it with gestures. Then they write webOS off. Grrr....
    And webOS hardcore fan does same. There's plenty of topics about how frustrated with Android within few seconds of using and went back home and they write about the horrible experience here. And they kept saying, I can't swipe on iOS and it's not intuitive. OMG, it takes less than 10 seconds to learn iOS. And it takes less than 15 seconds to learn Android. Yet, all the webOS fans are frustrated with other os within even give effort to learn the new OS. It's same every where, you can't blame on them.
    Mikey47 likes this.
  11. #11  
    intuitive? I don't know. took me time to get used to it. i always looked for a back button. every o.s. takes a while to get used to. webos is no different.

    Quote Originally Posted by CGK View Post
    It's an elegant operating system. well guess what? nobody cares, nobody cares.
    spot on. that alone just wasn't enough in this market.
    You come at the king. You best not miss.
    Mikey47 likes this.
  12. #12  
    When people attempt to make webOS swiping gestures on their iOS and Android devices, and even their laptop screens, I'd say it points to a pretty intuitive operating environment.
    laingman likes this.
  13. #13  
    webos is fairly easy to get into and similarly intuitive as the rest.

    But we have to differentiate between different kinds of "new" users.

    A new user as in just-aquired-this-thing gets greeted with a nice little gesture tutorial on first start. Even if s/he doesn't remember everything right away s/he knows that the area below is the gesture area.

    What the OP was talking about is an new user as in ad-hoc user. Never having hearc of the gesture area one could be excused mistaking it for just bezel.

    The unlocking part is dead simple though - as soon as you touch the lock icon a text tells you hat to do. If you fail at that you need to get your reading skills upgraded or sober up. ;-)

    Beyond that when you need to gesture back - well - yes - if you are used to other devices and never heard of webos it would not be self-evident how that works. But mention it once and it's easily remembered.

    This did not hinder marketing success.
    Bad ads, lack of resources, bad preparation, flawed hardware, then lack of perseverance and some weird decisions hindered webos success.

    Tragically - just when we finally got great hardware for webos (Pre3) - they kill it.

    And I have to disagree with above posts. Of course it matters whether webos is an elegant os - it's just not enough by itself when the hardware has unusually high fail rates and fundamental apps and features don't get to the user.
    As an example for the latter (and also belonging to the weird decisions department) - I'm beta testing a Proxy app. Turns out that webos (at least 2.x) has support for that built-in - just no GUI for it. That's mind-boggingly stupid. Especially considering that HP was explicitly targeting enterprise users.

    Another example is Bluetooth OBEX profile (file transfer). webos is sitting on top of a Linux kernel. Linux had support for that for years. webos has obviously driver support for their own BT hardware. All this needs is some interface code to make it available to webos apps. I don't understand why > 2 years after launch this is still not available to the user.
    All this is responsible for lack of success of webos devices. We don't have to look at whether it takes 15 or 45 seconds to grok the back gesture.
    Pre -> Pre3 & TP32 -> Nexus 5
    StuckwVerizon likes this.
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by jcerwinske View Post
    When people attempt to make webOS swiping gestures on their iOS and Android devices, and even their laptop screens, I'd say it points to a pretty intuitive operating environment.
    I don't think that alone is the standard of intuitiveness: doing an webos move on ios. When i used my pre in the store for the first time i kept hitting the upper left part of screen for a back button. I constantly hit the home button to go to my apps like an iphone does. By your definition thus ios is intuitive merely because i tried to use an ios move on a webos platform. It's a wash. By you're standard they are both intuitive. Regardless, i think what you describe is more evidence of a learned habit.

    Still, in the end it's intuitiveness didn't make up for shortcomings in this market.
    You come at the king. You best not miss.
  15. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by biggnaa20 View Post
    Android on the other hand is fairly straight forward with its menu driven approach, but those same menus hide things that I usually think should be apparent on screen.
    In fairness, there were times where I was sent swiping on the left side and then the right side of the screen on the pre to find the “right swipe” that would bring down the menu panel that had the correct setting on an app.

    Swiping from the top corners of the screen to bring menu panels down is not intuitive.

    -Suntan
  16. #16  
    I never had to find the "right swipe" for any menu on the pre.
    It was always on the top left corner, it always had the app name followed by a downward arrow.

    I really liked the back swipe on the pre, I wish that the TP had that.
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by jcerwinske View Post
    When people attempt to make webOS swiping gestures on their iOS and Android devices, and even their laptop screens, I'd say it points to a pretty intuitive operating environment.
    Let's make sure we define who those "people" are -- they are current webOS users....I've never seen anyone who has never used webOS try to perform a gesture like that...

    Swipe left and right? You see that all the time.
    Swipe up to close? Never.
    SnotBoogie likes this.
  18. #18  
    Intuitive? Maybe not.
    Easily learnt and efficient? Definitely.

    Just because an alternative command set is well known, it does not make any more intuitive.
  19. CGI_Ram's Avatar
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    #19  
    Quote Originally Posted by johncc View Post
    Intuitive? Maybe not.
    Easily learnt and efficient? Definitely.

    Just because an alternative command set is well known, it does not make any more intuitive.
    I think this is well said. I've got experience with other OS, and it didn't take me long to pick up WebOS.

    On Sunday, watching football, I really put multitasking to the test and my TP passed with no problems for 10+ hours. I'm impressed.

    I'd chose WebOS over Android and IOS. If HP would polish it, it wouldn't even be close.
  20. #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by johncc View Post
    Just because an alternative command set is well known, it does not make any more intuitive.
    Well by definition, a really well known command set doesn’t need to be intuitive.

    -Suntan
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