Openmoko Usability

Mathias Rüdiger ruediger at
Thu Jun 28 11:31:07 CEST 2007

Impression form running Openmoko with qemu

This isnt ment as an offense. I just want to share my impressions and
hope that they could be helpfull. Im not an native english speaker
which maybee result in some strange sentence constructions. I hope
that you will be so kind to parse them right :)

General usability:

There is no finger button to switch back to "main menu"

Choosing a finger app through the app list in the upper left requires
a stylus which is... not very usefull

The Dialer:

First of all, im not using the numpad very much and i think there are
a lot others who don't.  When i click on "DIAL" i want a list of my
contacts. Maybee the recently called, maybee favorites but not the
numpad which i will not use.

Also in the numpad view, there are a lot of doubled buttons. When i
click on Dial without a number entered i get the history. Whatfor i
need an extra history button?

When i want to delete a number i have to click plenty times on
delete. If i hold the button a small amount of time i the entered
number should be deleted completely.

The Contacts:

Contacts is no finger app, but it could easily become one and it
would be great for a quick search of an address or something.

After startup it shows me the details of the first contact, which im
most asurely not interested in. A fullsized list of contacts would be

The scrollbars on the right are consuming display space and could be
rendered obsolete with a scrolling method based on screen gestures
like the ones the iphone is using.

When adding or searching a contact i need the keyboard, but i have to
open it manually. If it would open automaticly and the app would
resize a way that i do not have to move all things arround to relocate
the textarea it would speedup things a lot.

The Keyboard:

When entering a name or something that needs a capital letter first, i
would be nice when the keyboard automaticly switches back after the
first letter.

Maybe its possible to make the keyboard finger useable too.

It would be grate to hear other ideas which would improve the
usability. My qemu crashed, im traped with a vertical drag button, so
i will finish. Thanks for reading this far :)

Mathias Rüdiger

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