Rating the iOS user experience: Does it stand out?

Developers compare platforms all the time, but France-based Pfeiffer Consulting recently decided to offer a benchmark-style evaluation of the five major mobile OSes to see how well iOS 7 ranked in terms of mobile user experience. In most cases, the rankings were comprised of a numbering scheme, where lower numbers are better (with the exception of ratings "out of 10"), rather than percentages. Some of the findings:

  • iOS 6 had the best "cognitive load," or the sum of elements you need to get familiar with in order to use a device spontaneously and intuitively, at 32. iOS 7 tied for second on the list with Windows Phone 8 at 40. BlackBerry 10 had the highest cognitive load at 53.
  • iOS 7 and Android tied on ease of integration, scoring seven out of 10 for access to key settings, integration with notifications, multitasking and camera access. Windows Phone 8 came last at four out of 10.
  • iOS 6 had the lowest user experience friction rating at 14, which means it rarely fails to do what users expect it to do. iOS 7 came second with a rating of 17, and Windows Phone 8 had the highest UXF at 41.
iOS 6, iOS 7, Android, Windows Phone 8

iOS 7 ranked highest in terms of overall user experience.

"Apple has achieved its goal to move iOS into the modern smartphone era. Despite some controversial design aspects, iOS 7 is pleasant and more fluid to use than other mobile operating systems--and it does not look like any competing system on the market," the report says. "It will be interesting what the longterm impact of iOS7 will be--in any case, market penetration is likely to be significantly faster than that of any other new mobile operating system."

Apple couldn't have asked for a better report card than this. For developers, it suggests that making some changes to retool the look, feel and function of their apps may well be worth it in the longer term. In general, Android seemed to score in the middle to high range in most of the areas covered, which isn't bad for an open source platform that's bound to have some variations across devices and providers.

For more:
- to see the complete report, click here

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