I have decided to stop verbally promoting the S60 platform to potential buyers (clients of mine), due to being inundated with admin requests after purchase. I realised that in my ‘demo’ of the E61 that I sometimes gave to clients who were interested in having all the benefits of a smartphone, I made it look easy. Too easy. And its not. Its a mess. The problem comes because of the end-user only seeing the end result, and not the HOURS of effort to really get to grips with all the underlying settings. With the E61, I had managed to ‘wow!’ people with its capabilities, and they wanted some of that action for themselves. Most of these people are non-techy just looking to get some email-on-the-go, and surf the net. But they are not prepared for the sheer amount of effort needed to get/establish a WLAN connection. Now, of course, to the hardcore S60 fanboys, this is no problem (for me neither), but for a layman?
Lets just quickly look at this. I want to connect to an accesspoint, to get my mails (which is normally set up to be done via an accesspoint group automatically), and surf a bit of intarwebs. So with the email client (as with most data apps in S60) you have a choice of either ‘asking for accesspoint’ or ‘defining a fixed accesspoint’ which can be either a single point, or a nominated group. So with most clients who want always on email access, then you must fix the access to a point, or group. Thats fine, as long as you always use the same points. But what if you are in another country and want to use some WLAN point that you have just found? …ahh…its easy!! you just:
Realise that the email client has given an error as it cannot find you defined accesspoint/group that you always use.
Then you go to menu>connectivity>conn. manager. open it, and scan for that WLAN network. when you have found it, press ‘options>define accesspoint’ and then get told that you actually cannot define an accesspoint with this app, and must go to ‘accesspoints’.
So, remembering where ‘accesspoints’ is, you then exit the conn. manager, press back to main menu, and select ‘tools’.
then press settings>connection>accesspoints. press options>new accesspoint>use (whatever) settings.
then you are taken to the accesspoint config screen. configure the settings and back, back, exit to main menu.
ready for your mail now? NOPE. now lets tell the email client which accesspoint it should use:
main menu>messages>options>settings>email>then EVERY individual account you use>connection settings>incoming email>accesspoint in use.
WOOHOO!!! that was just so easy, AND intuitive!!! Hats off to the UI designers at S60!! wow, they really know how to encourage the uptake of smartphones with normal people.
Anyway. as you can see. Usability in actuality is low. very low. now try having to explain this to everyone who I know has bought an S60 platform phone. Its just ridiculously complex. Why ON EARTH does an accesspoint have to be defined for every f*cking app that needs data access? Why can’t it be the same as a REAL computer, with the apps (email client/web browser/whatever) connecting to whatever accesspoint is available (no, I dont mean auto connect of gprs/umts either). but what I mean is the same as my Powerbook. as in:
go to Cafe/bar/etc
click on Airport in menu bar, scan for networks, select a net (either open or pass-protected), connect.
thats it. now ANY FUCKING app that needs a data connection will use it. How is this so unbelievably difficult for a smartphone with WLAN? It isn’t, as will be proven (most probably) with the advent of the iPhone. Nokia, SE….sit up and pay FUCKING ATTENTION TO INTELLIGENT UI DESIGN!