Pfeiffer Consulting recently released the results of its annual report that looks into user experience benchmarks for mobile operating system. The recently rolled out iOS 7 of Apple led the pack beating Android used on Samsung tablets and smartphones, Windows Phone 8 and the BlackBerry 10 operating systems. The older iOS 6 even ranked second on the survey.

The Pfeiffer Report determines the usability of the mobile operating system in terms of user experience friction, customization, efficiency, and cognitive load. The iOS 7 bested the other mobile OS with a total score of 73.25 closely followed by the iOS 6 that scored 70. Android followed with 57.25, trailed by BlackBerry 10 with 56.37, and completed by Windows Phone 8, which garnered just 47.25.

“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 doesn’t look like any competing system on the market,” the report noted.

The survey also showed its fascination on what the iOS 7 can achieve knowing that the market penetration rate is significantly faster than other mobile OS.

“Samsung’s Android is very usable– but undermines the overall user experience through odd design decisions, disproportionate cognitive load and half-baked innovations that are a distraction rather than a help,” the consulting firm reported.

In terms of cognitive load comparison, the iOS 6 topped the index scoring 32 followed by the newer iOS 7 and Windows 8 at 40. BlackBerry 10 was pegged at 53 while Android loaded in a Samsung device registered at 162. For this portion of the benchmark, a lower score is better. Cognitive load looks into the ease of use of the device for a non-technical consumer. It takes into consideration the number of apps, widgets, icons, and other elements that will make the system intuitive.

The category on customization was ruled by Android. The iOS 7 and the iOS 6 followed. Android offered the longest list of options for customization, but some of the accessibility options found in the iOS are missing.

The user experience friction or UXF part of the survey looked into key features that might be lacking resulting to users experiencing scenarios that are unexpected while using the device. The iOS 6 bested the bunch followed closely by iOS 7. The slight edge of the older iOS system was attributed to the Control Center on the iOS 7 that pops up frequently.

“We are definitely entering a world of maturity in terms of features and interaction patterns. A world where smartphones are like cars: when you can drive one you can drive them all– but also a world where finishing and usability may be more significant for the user than the latest killer feature,” the Pfeiffer Report concluded.

(via Pfeiffer Report)


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