Washington: In a recent survey conducted for emporia Telecom, 35% of over 40s using a smartphone admitted that they missed having physical buttons to press.
Other findings from the survey included:
- More than one in five of over 40s found it more difficult to dial numbers and write text messages on a touchscreen.
- Almost thirty percent of those surveyed mis-dialled numbers more often with a touchscreen mobile phone.
- 38% of those surveyed preferred to remain with a traditional button phone rather than move to a touchscreen.
Eveline Pupeter, expert, comments: “Just because almost every new phone is a touchscreen it does not mean that everyone likes the format, particularly those over the age of 40.”
From the age of 40, people’s manual dexterity begins to gradually fade. Whilst it is impossible to notice this on a day to day basis, as they age people have significantly less feeling in their fingers. This impacts the ability to use a touchscreen as effectively, particularly as tactile feedback is important to confirm the press of a button.
“A QWERTY keyboard on a touchscreen smartphone is typically less than six centimeters by four, incorporating 33 keys, less than 0.75 of a centimeter per key. It is difficult for any user to accurately press buttons on a touchscreen, but with older users it becomes even more challenging.”
Pupeter dismisses the notion that older people are disinclined to use any touch technology: “25% of tablet sales are to the over 55s, demonstrating that, at the right size, touchscreens have universal appeal. The issue is with smartphones where a QWERTY keyboard is tiny on the screen.”