Touchscreens, without a doubt, have changed the way we interact with our devices so much that to see a smartphone with buttons psychologically triggers us to automatically make us feel contempt for the device. It’s no wonder that Blackberry unfortunately collapsed.
The touchscreen allows for maximum flexibility. You can’t go wrong allowing maximum utilization of the screen. Most devices today are designed to have between three and five buttons. Some companies even designed the smartphone to give up on the home button, for example HTC and Nexus 4.
Alongside these strengths and the “almighty” beauty of the slick and elegant touchscreen come its flaws. These flaws largely deal with the usability of the smartphone. Now, many of you will say ‘sure, a smartphone can’t be perfect … and the utilization of it won’t be 100% intuitive’. Yes, in a way I do agree with all of you who say this. However, for a device that is so small, the smallest usability mistake can be massive. Using our smartphones requires us to pursue a process. When thinking about it broadly, it seems silly to vent about launching an application. But, when actually going through this action process, in today’s instant gratification era, there is no room for that. The process goes something like this: turn on the screen to activate the phone, look at the device through your apps to find the relevant app you want to launch, and launch it with your itty bitty finger. Let’s not mention the annoying issue when your hand is wet or you have got a glove on. In short, the process doesn’t always work!
Here comes Pressy
A new Israeli start-up, called Pressy, has addressed this shortfall by adding an external button to the device.
Pressy is an innovative external button that connects to your smartphone through the headphone jack and lets you perform your everyday actions such as turning your flashlight on or taking a photo super easy and quick.
The app allows you to set a large number of actions and to give every action a sequence of clicks that runs them. For example, you could specify that a single short click will turn on the flashlight and two short clicks will photograph image.
Sounds complicated, but when playing with the app, it shows a lot of thought that went into designing the interface. In order to define actions, simply click on the plus icon, choose the type of action (flashlight, camera, voice call, text message, etc.), define the sequence of clicks if you want to change the settings of the action (for example, if the picture will be without flash). When you save, the new action will show up on the main screen, which contains a list of all the tasks set.
I asked Nimrod Back, CEO and Co-founder, why there is a need for another button for usability on a smartphone device. His response was, ‘With today’s situation, in order to perform a simple operation on the device, it is necessary to perform between five to seven different actions and the procedure takes over 8 seconds. Try it yourself…I guarantee you it will take that long. Today, we don’t have the pleasures to waste even 5 seconds of our time. Pressy let’s you select a series of actions that you use every day and do them in less than a second, without the need to fumble too much with the device. There is no limit to what you can do with it and programmers can program their own actions. Pressy also serves as an emergency button, as opposed to a device that requires caring much for sending location or call the police’.
Pressy is currently well over its funding goal and has succeeded in funding the whole project within the first 24 hours. ‘We only provided the spark. Our backers did the rest’ says Nimrod Back, Cofounder of Pressy on raising $300K in 3 days. For 15-25 US dollars, you will be able to purchase the Pressy Button and receive the free App to start easily clicking your way to action.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are as provided by the company’s PR agency. Regardless, I only publish reviews of products or services that I believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
Want to learn more?
If you’re interested in mobile UX, then taking the course on Mobile User Experience, which includes templates you can use in your own projects. If, on the other hand, you’d like to…
- learn all the details of Usability Testing
- get easy-to-use templates
- learn how to properly quantify the usability of a system/service/product/app/etc
- learn how to communicate the result to your management
… then consider to take the online course Conducting Usability Testing.
Lastly, if you want to brush up on the basics of UX and Usability, the online course on User Experience could provide you with the necessary knowledge. Good luck on your learning journey!