Smartphones and apps have been hyped for over a decade now. But sometimes, the smartphone is not the smartest thing to get an interaction done. A dedicated device or even a plain old phone may be better. Let us look at some advantages of telephones.
Where (dumb, cordless) phones beat smartphones
- Always on: The phone is always unlocked, no additional step required.
- Group use: The phone can be used by anyone within easy reach.
- Quick access: It is always ready for dialling.
- Eye-free operation: Because of its tactile UI (real buttons), an experienced user can operate it without having to set eyes on it.
- Hands-on operation: No touch screen! So, it does not care where you hold it; it will not confuse holding fingers and pressing fingers.
- Visibility: The phone is often placed well reachable and visible.
- Findable: And it is rarely set to silent mode.
- Battery life: Batteries of cordless phones are in the famous Nokia 3310 ballpark.
- Cloud-free: It does not require a cloud with its potential availability and security problems. You remain in control.
An app is not always right
Dear designers of “smart” devices: Please do consider using real, physical interfaces for some applications. Your users might be safer and feeling more secure.