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You can help confirm this entry by contributing facts, media, and other evidence of notability and mutation. Just as people have read books while lying in bed for decades, many people have found themselves browsing the web, reading email, and text messaging on the phone while in bed in recent years.
The “I hate it when I drop my phone on my face while texting in bed” scenario has been played out in a few Rage comics. As of June, 2011 there are 32 Facebook fan pages for this situation, most with thousands of “Likes.” Here are just a few.
By searching for a specific phrase in quotes using wildcards in the right places, while limiting the search to only results that come from Twitter’s domain, we can see how many tweets Google has cached that pertain to our situation. This scenario has been created and recreated in web comics and social networks in a way that suggests that it is a common experience that many sympathize with, having experienced it first-hand. There seems to be no reasonable explanation for why one would attempt to refine or rework the existing concept. Do you create products or organize events for UX professionals or manage a UX team that’s hiring? So, I’ve carried out a fresh study of the way people naturally hold and interact with their mobile devices. Since we made our observations in public, we encountered very few tablets, so these are not part of the data set. In over 40% of our observations, a user was interacting with a mobile phone without inputting any data via key or screen.
While most of the people that we observed touching their screen used one hand, very large numbers also used other methods. In the following sections, I’ll describe and show a diagram of each of these methods of holding a mobile phone, along with providing some more detailed data and general observations about why I believe people hold a mobile phone in a particular way.
Before I get to the details, I want to point out one more limitation of the data-gathering method that we used. While I originally expected holding and using a mobile phone with one hand to be a simple case, the 49% of users who use just one hand typically hold their phone in a variety of positions. One-handed use seems to be highly correlated with users’ simultaneously performing other tasks.
Cradling is my term for using two hands to hold a mobile phone, but using only one hand to touch the screen or buttons, as shown in Figure 3. We traditionally associate two-handed use with typing on the QWERTY thumbboards of devices like the classic Blackberry or on slide-out keyboards.
People often switched between two-handed use and cradling, with users typing with both thumbs, then simply no longer using one hand for input and reverting to using just one of the thumbs consistently for interacting with the screen. Also notable is the overwhelming use of devices in their vertical orientation, or portrait mode—despite theories about the ease of typing with a larger keyboard area.
I expect some to argue that one-handed use is the ideal—and that assuming one-handed use is a safe bet when designing for almost half of all users.
Some designers may interpret charts of one-handed use to mean that they should place low-priority or dangerous functions in the hard to reach area in the upper-left corner of the screen.
Even if we don’t understand why there are such large percentages for handedness, we cannot assume that people will hold their phone in their right or left hand.
Another factor that I had not adequately considered until putting together these diagrams is how much of the screen a finger may obscure when holding a mobile phone in any of these ways.
You left out of your study smartphones with a slide-out keyboard like the Droid and Samsung Stratosphere. There is a segment of the population out there that still likes the visceral feel of buttons.
I think your odd findings on single-handed use correlate to the telemarketer effect, as I call it.
Combining the slide-out QWERTY keyboard and the 2-handed landscape touch keyboard, there aren’t a lot of those people out there.
I’ve seen a few bits of data float by in the last month or two about more and deeper creation tasks being done on mobiles. Pedro LanA§a: I completely agree that not only do people seem to be selecting their method of holding and interacting based on the interface layout, but that a lot of them are conscious of it and have evolved their way of using the phone deliberately. Eric Berkman’s comments on how he pockets and grabs his phone are, I suspect, very typical of everyday users who balance access and the security of their device, more than with anything else they routinely carry. This can be seen in other fields as well—for example, when people reject phone apps that are stretched to fit a tablet. Physical buttons are going away fast and are so much an increasingly smaller subset as to not be relevant anymore. At the end, you talk about different tasks potentially requiring different ways of holding a phone. So while preliminarily useful, your data should not really be used to argue for users holding a particular phone in a particular way—or not doing so. Two details that you may find interesting: First, when trying to reach the upper part of the screen while holding the phone in my right hand, the base of my thumb sometimes touches the lower part of the screen, leading to undesired results.
There is also some evidence that maybe half of Android devices that are used for Web browsing have a hardware keyboard. I take photos sometimes, especially when I have a very long lens because people don’t like you taking photos. And anecdotally, I saw a lot of cradling and two-handed use of iPhones—including plenty of the noted vertical keyboard use on iPhones. To the second point, yes indeed it would be nice to find out what people are doing, but this seems almost impossible without doing something like recruiting for a study and installing snooping software. There are a few other issues I could take up—including your repeated use of the word skew.
I especially appreciate that you shared your data file, so other people in the community can do analysis! I totally agree with Lou about how ways of holding a device should divide into different situations to research, which should relate to the size of the phone screen. So, when we consider the user experience design, we should think about these situations, too.
When I was on a train with people, and they switched from one to two hands, I did not log the second interaction in the primary data. If any of that is suspect or does not make sense, everyone please tell me, and I’ll try to explain further.
But yes, I probably should have made reference to a few of these to make this point, so thanks for including the information so everyone has the background. Anyway, I wonder if the hand-position switching occurs with iOS users when they are trying to access those buttons. I will be posting videos and decks of the day later this weekend and will definitely drop a link here as well.
It would be awesome if we could develop an app for a naturalistic study on how people are actually holding their phones. Regarding left-handed versus right-handed use, it largely depends on the country people live in.
Regarding handedness, I would venture to say that this could be an entire study in and of itself, based on some small-sample studies I have conducted on my own.
In the same fashion as skateboarding, snowboarding, or surfing, where an individual has better balance and greater comfort based on foot dominance (best foot forward), many individuals have an ear preference when using the telephone.
A user is right-handed and right-ear dominant, but has one hand pre-occupied—coffee, bag, book, umbrella—which hand is holding the phone? If he is left-ear dominant, but right-handed, I would hypothesize he holds an umbrella in his right and the phone in his left. In order to do it you need to hold the device with one hand and swipe with a finger of the other hand. Some of this, like two handed use, could be surmised from time between taps on distant parts of the screen. But I’ll be happy to work with anyone who wants to try to build a test protocol or a bit of software for this. That the iPhone is perfect with one hand appears to be a myth, and one I addressed just a bit, early in the article.
Anecdotally, while gathering this data, I saw no obvious preference for one-handed use among iPhone users and, likewise, no obvious preference for cradling or two-handed use among larger devices. It sounds like the same phenomenon is true of footedness and so on, based on what you describe, and this is very interesting to think of—though obvious if I had stopped to think about it. Personally, I have a slightly worse hearing loss on the right side, but after 40 years, I have to very consciously move the handset to the left side if it’s a dodgy signal. Methodology first: There was no fixed time to observe, but anything long enough to clearly understand the device, context, grasp, and use was several seconds, so it was clear that it was not a momentary state, and I counted it. In your opinion, for a mobile gaming app that is in fixed landscape mode, should the user be able to play it using only one hand? I’m having a discussion at work about this and feel that, for long periods (1-2 hrs) of use, the user could get lazy and start playing the game one handed if possible (in landscape).
On the other hand, last I checked, gamers were still mostly human, so most attributes apply generally. What your study reveals is the percentage of the populace that is very unbalanced, sort of unbalanced, and balanced. People who cradle a phone have some kind of development in the less dominant hand that allows them to use that hand as a cradle.


Once the West decides to get around to teaching Yin Yang Theory, the percentages you found will change. The percentage of one-handers will go down as people become more Yin and Yang balanced, and the percentage of people using both hands will go up. Have you considered the implications of your findings if they do vary from country to country? Like your previous correspondent, Aaron, I too have invented a device that I am hoping will revolutionise the manner in which hand-held devices are manipulated. The response we get is verging on 100% universal appreciation for the natural feel, cost savings, and simplicity to the global mobile marketplace.
Jalon, I did some of the survey in Canada, and if you look at the spreadsheet, it does list locale and context. Terry, this info gets quoted a lot, and I know people at big companies like Disney who have used it to justify improvements and changes to their bosses. If you take lots of photos using your cell phone at Disney or elsewhere, make sure you're not automatically backing up your pictures in the cloud or other service.
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A common experience that many bed-texters identify with is the awkward, painful, and mildly humiliating feeling of dropping one’s phone onto one’s own face. It’s unclear if each iteration was a deliberate re-creation or was created without prior exposure to one another. A conservative assumption would be that there are even more results for the phrase that Google hasn’t cached or is no longer caching. Unlike a snowclone, madlib, or other meme that compels its hosts to create new derivatives, the mutation doesn’t seem to add any apparent value.
But some of my data was getting very old, so included a lot of information about hardware input methods using keyboard- and keypad-driven devices that accommodate the limited reach of fingers or thumbs. Please do not take the total number of our observations and surmise that n% of people are typing on their phone at any one moment.
We considered interactions to be voice calls only if users were holding their phone to their ear, so we undoubtedly counted some calls as apparent passive use. Even the least-used case, two-handed use, is large enough that you should consider it during design.
Two of these are illustrated in Figure 2, but other positions and ways of holding a mobile phone with one hand are possible.
Many of those using one hand to hold their phone were carrying out other tasks such as carrying bags, steadying themselves when in transit, climbing stairs, opening doors, holding babies, and so on.
The 36% of users who cradle their mobile phone use it in two different ways: with their thumb or finger. A smaller percentage of users employed a second type of cradling, in which they held the phone with one hand and used a finger to interact with the screen.
When targeting browsers or mobile-device operating systems, I am always uncomfortable ignoring anything with a market share over 5%.
I believe you didn’t take into account in your study cases like when people sit in a cafe or are at home.
This is where someone whose dominant hand is the right hand uses their left hand on the phone, so their right hand can write messages on paper. It seems there may be a slow, steady migration toward doing more entertainment, work, and communicating in other ways than only talking.
I hoped to make that clear, but there was no obvious way to observe people in offices or their homes.
But I think that might also correlate more closely to the types of actions they are performing on the device, instead of their environment. The vast majority of devices were touch only or mostly touch, but I counted anything that was a mobile phone or mobile Internet device (MID).
I’d love to figure out a way to snoop on what people are doing with their devices, but even if it’s technically possible, there are privacy issues! And, of course, we’ve always had this huge fraction of human communications originate from mobile, even with 10-key pads. I find that when putting my phone into my pocket, my natural behavior is to place my phone upside down, screen facing out. Everyone rejected the Facebook hybrid app—which was proven when everyone came back once they launched a native app. For one thing, iOS and Android UX designers could potentially come to opposite conclusions based on phone size data.
I know an associate of mine, Orde Saunders, was a bit of a watcher, and I recall Steph Rieger giving it a tweet or two last year. The vast majority of handsets in the world are feature phones, essentially all of which still have keys, even if some also are touch. Stats are few and far between, but any that I can find that mention physical characteristics say this. Will be interesting to see, and it should be easier to get the data on how many choose the hardware keyboard, finally. It would be interesting to see if grasping changes based on device size, but I get the very strong impression these would be subtle changes. A lot of people do not touch type with two hands on desktop or notebook computers, so I would not be surprised if these figures extend to mobile devices. I designed and evaluated a set of interaction techniques that use auxiliary finger input in a one-handed mobile scenario.
He has done a lot of work on this and just gave a presentation at World IA day in Los Angeles on this very subject.
I hope they are actually individuals, too, but it’s possible I may have encountered some of the same people at the bus stop on subsequent days, because I revisited the same ground. I did not expect such speedy and frequent changes in grasping, and many people did not change, so I didn’t account for it in the research design. One variation, though: if a person was sitting there without a phone, then pulled it out and interacted with it, I counted the first observed interaction. I do recall reading that paper in the distant past, around when I did my own research to which I referred in the article. I live in a college town, and I think it’s fun to watch what people do with their phones. The percentage of left-handed people is atypically larger in certain countries, like the US. Thus, you will often see individuals performing one-handed phone gestures with the same hand they would use to answer a call with their dominant ear (left hand: left ear).
Having tried it, it is clearly much, much better than the alternatives, and I think may eventually replace keyboards on desktop computers and laptops as well. It would be great to get this much data, but I cannot figure out how to correlate how the device is held with what is gathered digitally.
But clearly a passive hand or the difference between a thumb and finger would be hard to determine. If, for the sake of argument, you assume the iPhone 1-4 is the perfect size for a 50th percentile male, the math is pretty easy to do. I saw individuals entering information into Galaxy Notes with one hand and a thumb, and two-thumb typing on tiny 3-inch phones.
I agree this would be interesting to study, and coupled with rather fuzzy data on how many people are really right handed among a specific population, I’d love to see it. Lots of weird, specific cases pop up aside from the immediate environmental concerns I had originally ascribed some of the change to. For example, I noticed that you created informal heatmaps to designate where touch interactions happen—that is, as shown by the illustrations. I can imagine something like a video camera on a stick over a sidewalk, for example; then viewing the video in fast-forward and slowing and pausing to see more detail.
I used a pretty coarse measure of reach based on a small and informal sampling of coworkers. Unbalanced human beings can be either unbalanced toward the Yin part of the body or unbalanced toward the Yang part of the body. Their percentage is so low because the percentage of balanced human beings in the West is low.
And if not, would you mind giving me your credentials in order for them to assess the credibility of your data? This awareness of the user’s interactions with smartphones is very important as we all are constantly interacting with them. This simple disc mounts to the center back of your phone and, with a built-in silicone loop, it flexibly connects one finger to your device. I don’t travel enough for overseas surveying, but anyone is free to take the form and add to it.
So many of them are filled with people of all levels of experience and are so willing to offer help and suggestions.
Check our Site Map and visit our Help Desk to learn how to contact us online, by e-mail, and by phone. You started out with a boxy frame that barely fit in anyone’s hands, though those Saved by the Bell kids sure looked cool using you.


You’ve come so far (and had some really great face-lifts) and become a huge part of our lives. These old mobile phones differ greatly from the touchscreen devices that many are now using.
Users need to be able to see the whole screen, and may also need to touch any part of it to provide input.
Of these people, 780 were touching the screen to scroll or to type, tap, or use other gestures to enter data.
Similarly, there is no demographic data about the users, and I did not try to identify their devices. While we can assume that a huge percentage of all people have a mobile device, many of these devices were not visible and people weren’t interacting with them during our observations, so we could not capture this data. Of course, these areas are only approximate and vary for different individuals, as well as according to the specific way in which a user is holding a phone and the phone’s size.
For example, they would hold the phone so they could easily reach the top of the screen rather than the bottom. Cradling a phone in two hands gives more support than one-handed use and allows users to interact freely with their phone using either their thumb or finger. In two-handed use, as shown in Figure 4, users cradle their mobile phone in their fingers and use both thumbs to provide input—much as they would on a desktop keyboard. For example, a user might scroll with the right thumb, then tap a link with the left thumb moments later. What if a user sees buttons at the top, so switches to cradling his phone to more easily reach all functionality on the screen—or just prefers holding it that way all the time? That’s a general baseline for me, though I adjust it for individual clients or products.
As designers, we should always be aware of what content a person’s fingers might obscure anywhere across the whole screen.
HavingA accurate percentages for how many users prefer each way of holding a phone would be useful.
I and many others like me, who have answered phones for a living without headsets, use their phones with their left hand. Anecdotally, around the tech offices where I work, people seem to hold their phones as the field study showed. I am sure I got a few iPod Touches and game consoles, but I also certainly got a few 10-key feature phones, and some slide-out or fixed (BlackBerry style) QWERTY devices. That seems plausible, because when there was what I perceived to be a clear reason for switching, the right hand was often occupied with something specific for which a person could not change hands easily: opening a door where the approach is wrong for the other hand, using keys or keypads or an ATM, or holding hands with a girlfriend. SMS is a lot of typing, so as compelling services continue to be built that make entry easy, foolproof, and useful, I expect to see more true interactivity and information origination on handsets. I also think that sometimes users read the interface design and position their hands to be efficient for that specific interface.
UX designers should always look to understand the users’ natural behavior when designing experiences. If a user is typing on the keyboard, two fingers are faster than one, and so a user would be much more likely to use two hands regardless of screen size. Also, different screens might be designed in different ways depending on whether a user is inputting text or doing some other input on that screen. If I hold the phone sideways, however, it switches to horizontal mode, not allowing me to read. It would have meant lumping iPhone together with the other small devices and implying that they were one size class, which is very much not the case. This is interesting behavior, and it would be enlightening to find out why this happens and how common it is becoming. Or did the observations include the same person, but switching their way of holding a device? While interesting, both the limits of keypad or keyboard location and the differences in problems with the finger or thumb obfuscating the user interface make this less applicable to full-screen, touch-screen interactions. It would be troublesome to tell whether the phone is being held with one or two hands, though.
In comparison to the arduous business of two- or one-finger typing with a touch keypad, it is worlds apart. Probably the best I can imagine is a large, but controlled cohort, like a set of students who could be observed by stalking them or by using embedded equipment or video surveillance. Assuming your game is age appropriate, have a couple of them play it for as long as they can stand, while recording them. This is also the heart of what we have been doing with a useful new product that we market. All movements are secured by the loop that moves and stretches as the device is manipulated by the user.
I consider myself an experienced traveler to Walt Disney World and STILL learn something new from the groups. Users’ changing the way they held their phone seemed to relate to their switching tasks.
Though several of my clients have received numerous customer complaints in app store reviews for not supporting landscape mode. Just remembering that a tapping finger or thumb hides a button’s label is not enough.
I think this creates a skewing in the numbers for use with a single hand, making the left-hand numbers higher than the left-handed percentage of the general population—estimated at 8-15%.
People become very self-conscious of what they are doing when they think about it, so things like a diary study won’t help here. I did observe a few people in cafes and so forth; these are many of the sitting individuals. Despite the stats I’ve provided, there were never enough of them to justify my adding another column to the spreadsheet for those cases when I could reliably tell what the device was. There are so many kinds of interfaces these days that users start to have a usability culture—even non-tech-oriented ones. I’d be interested in knowing behaviors around phone handling and cradling in relation to pockets.
Alternatively, a user scrolling or selecting buttons, menus, or items in a list could do that just as quickly with one hand as two. If I had thought it necessary to record device type with that level of confidence, I would have been able to record only a quarter to a tenth the number of observations. You mentioned that people did this frequently, but it didn’t look like that was captured in the data file.
The best way by far to get lots of observations was to sit or walk during rush hour or at a mall. In conjunction with this, how long did you spend time observing one subject for his or her mobile phone behavior? Mobigrip enhances the way a user holds or can hold their device, because the device is now holding you, and cuts down substantially on accidental drops and slips. This cost us $20 to add more data to our account, but also meant we were no longer eligible for the special deal we had with our cell provider. Instead, people can use mobile devices when they’re standing, walking, riding a bus, or doing just about anything. My data needed to be more unimpeachable, both in terms of its scale and the testing environment of my research. While I couldn’t always tell exactly what users were doing when they shifted the way they were holding their phone, I sometimes could look over their shoulder or see the types of gestures they were performing.
While I am personally very right handed, now that I have these numbers, I am spending a lot more time paying attention to how interactions might work when using the left hand.
However, I don’t know if these observations would be very different from the ones you mentioned. Because mobile phones are quite personal, do we handle our devices in our pockets as something valuable and sacred with a protective grasp? But a lot of decisions about basic architecture and layout can be common across platforms, so generalized and flexible solutions are good. When making such observations, people were visible for just a few seconds, so we took all such observations from the initial few seconds that we observed a person. Users have to hold a device in a way that lets them view its screen, while providing input. Tapping, scrolling, and typing behaviors look very different from one another, so were easy to differentiate. It would also be helpful to determine which ways of holding a mobile phone are appropriate for specific tasks. So, maybe some small percentage of your observations are a result of this and not only about comfort or habit, and therefore, one subject may prefer one-handed use, cradling, or two-handed use depending on the interface.
Or perhaps people hold their phone in a manner that affords quick interaction with the physical buttons because they cannot see the screen.
With clear correlations between tasks and ways of holding a phone, we could surmise likely ways of holding devices for particular types of interactions rather than making possibly false assumptions based on our own behavior and preferences.



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Comments to How to figure out your cell phone password iphone

Diams

02.10.2013 at 22:17:39

Your smartphone benches before sunrise in Dearborn on a current morning.

Beyaz_Gulum

02.10.2013 at 19:21:18

Installed on their smartphone for industrial web sites.

LOLITA

02.10.2013 at 21:30:27

Came with fundamental caller ID, but.