iOS 7’s all-new “flat” redesign has been nothing short of “controversial,” with many developers and designers critisizing Apple for some of its design choices in the new OS. But according to a study conducted by technology consultants Pfeiffer Consulting, iOS 7 delivers the best user experience to customers as compared to other major mobile operating systems in the market.
iOS 7 is already being used on more than 200 million devices within a week of being released, so it’s critical that Apple makes the transition from iOS 6 to iOS 7 as smooth as possible.
The folks at Pfeiffer Consulting evaluated the user experience of a mobile OS on four different fronts — cognitive load, efficiency and integration, customization and user experience friction. iOS 7’s performance across these areas was pitted against iOS 6, Android, Windows Phone 8, and BlackBerry 10. Here’s how it performed:
Cognitive load is a term used to describe the new things users have to learn in a device or software in order to use it “spontaneously and intuitively.” This was measured by counting the number of different app icons, widgets etc. a stock install of the OS has. iOS 6 scored a little better than iOS 7 on this front, but Android was found to have the most amount of cognitive load on a new user.
Efficiency and Integration
For evaluating this aspect, a mobile OS’ ease of access to key settings, integration with notifications, multitasking, camera access and other similar features were considered. iOS 7 unsurprisngly scores higher than iOS 6 on this front thanks to the better Notification Center, smarter multitasking and the all-new Control Center.
Customization hasn’t been a strong area for iOS, so it isn’t surprising that Android scores the highest in this metric. iOS 7 does score more than iOS 6 due to the addition of an option to increase font size or change it to bolder type.
User Experience Friction
This is a term to describe the annoying little things than can drive a user insane if they happen a lot. The report cites an example of Control Center — a very useful feature that can annoy a user by popping up unintentionally due to upward swipes from the bottom of the screen. iOS 6 had lower friction than iOS 7, but both of them are significantly lower than the competition.
Overall iOS 7 ends up scoring a high user experience rating, topping iOS 6, Android and all other smartphone OSes out there. For the entire report, visit this link (PDF).
iOS 7 has definitely been polarising, so tell us what you think of this study in the comments below. Do you feel your experience on iOS 7 is better than on iOS 6?