Recently TV3 news reported that a school girl had to go through surgery on both wrists because of sending too many messages a day from her cell phone. And the girl said that after her surgery she will buy a touch screen phone instead of keyboard phone.
One more news from Microsoft - the CEO of Microsoft predicts that touch screen phones will be the future phones of the world in 10 years.
From both of the news I am interested to find out if people prefer a touch screen phone and if touch screen phones will dominate the future market, or keyboard phone still have their market.
Based on the reasons I want to do this research to find out the result. In my opinion, other people will also be interested in this research because it will tell what phone people favor and also people could get some information when they need to buy a new phone in the future.
The question of this research project is: Do people prefer touch screen phone or keyboard phone and why?
The research is to find out whether people like touch screen phone or keyboard phone and the reasons for it.
To find out the answer for the research question, I selected questionnaire as the research method (I will explain the reason of using questionnaire and how to design the questionnaire later).
I used the questionnaire to survey 31 students from our RM1 Class (24 male and 7 female). I chose RM1 students to answer my questionnaire because we studied the same paper and they have background knowledge why I need them to fill up the questionnaire. So I had good cooperation from them and also there was no risk involved during the survey. Most of the survey was done in RM1 class and some finished filling in other class.
After collecting the entire questionnaires, I summarized all the primary data and used it to find out the answer for my research question.
The reason of using Questionnaire
The main reason for selecting questionnaire is because asking people what phone they favor is more related to their emotional factor. Compared with past decade, mobile phone has become a more popular communication tool. Today most people have at least one mobile phone. When they buy a new phone, they not only consider quality or usability of the phone, they are more concern about the fashion and the application of the phone. We cannot get the result by observing the behavior of people or using case study for analysis in a short period of time.
Another reason of using questionnaire is people do not feel nervous and embarrassed when they answer some sensitive or personal questions, so that I can get more accurate information.
Based on the analysis I think questionnaire is an appropriate method for this research project and I could get the thoughts of people directly. After interviewing, I have got some good reasons from the interviewers why some people like touch screen phone.
Designing the questionnaire
Good questionnaire can help one to get useful and accurate information that will answer the research question. But designing questionnaire is not easy, one must ensure what kind of question one can ask.
To design my questionnaire I have taken some ideas from an article and the reference is: Michael Voege. (Feb.2009.) Beyond the touch screen. Cooper Journal, Retrieved from http://www.cooper.com/journal/2009/02/beyond_the_touch_screen.html
In this journal the author survey some current products to identify what hardware controls portable devices integrated with touch screens that can advance the user experience.
Although the article is not exactly about comparing keyboard phone and touch screen phone, but it lists some benefit and limitation of touch screen phone which I adopted to prepare my questionnaire.
The author states that touch screen phone is very flexible in interaction design and also it has less reliance on hardware controls. The author also identified that the typing of touch screen phone is slower and less accurate than a physical keyboard. He gave an example that the hands and fingers of some people are too big for the small touch screen. So if the phone has physical navigation tools like stylus, it will be helpful,.
My research question is: Do people prefer touch screen phone or keyboard phone and why? Actually the question is divided into two parts, one is why they chose touch screen phone or keyboard phone, another part is why they do not choose that. The two parts are mainly related to the benefit and limitation of the phone. To answer the questions I have to list some reasonable option about the benefit and limitation of touch screen phone and keyboard phone so that people can chose the suitable answer.
From the information of the author stating the benefit and limitation of touch screen phone, I used it and modified it to my questionnaire and ask people why they like touch screen phone or keyboard phone and any weakness about the phone. (See Q4 and Q5 in appendix 2.)
Thirty- one students were surveyed. See Chart 1 there were 13 students which is 42% prefer a touch screen phone, 8 students (26%) like a phone which has both touch screen and keyboard, 7 students (22%) like keyboard phone and 3 students (10%) do not have any idea about what kind of phone they prefer.
There are 22 students think that touch screen phone will be the furture phone and 7student do not think the same way. They think that another human-computer interface will appear (voice, brain and scan).
13 students will buy touch screen phone for their next purchase, 4 students will buy keyboard phone and 14 students will buy a phone that has both features.
Currently 23 students use keyboard phone and 8 students use touch screen phone.
Table 1shows the reasons why people prefer a touch screen phone, and they also pointed some weakness about touch screen phone.
Why people like touch screen phone
Weakness of touch screen phone
Easy to use
Typing is slower and less accurate
Virtual keyboard space is too small cannot fit big finger
Screen is not really sensitive
Screen is big
Fun to use
Table 2 shows the reasons why people prefer a keyboard phone, and they also stated some weakness about keyboard phone.
Why people like keyboard phone
Weakness of keyboard phone
Can text faster
Hurt wrist when text too much
Easy to use
Price is good
Out of fashion
Have a button
Analysis and discussion
There are only 31interviewees involved in the research, so the sample may not have significant representativeness. But I still found some interesting points.
From the finding, the answer for my research question is that most students prefer touch screen phone and it is 42%. But from Chart 1 we have to take note that there are 26% students like a phone that has both touch screen and keyboard function. Compared with Chart 3, 45% students will buy a phone that has both function and this proportion is higher than the one only buying touch screen for their next purchase. From this point we can see that there is big potential market for combination phone.
From Table 1 we can see that touch screen phone attracts students not only because of single pursuit usability, but also because of fashion trends.
The major limitation of touch screen phone has the same result as that from literature reviews. From my survey most students think that the virtual keyboard space is too small cannot fit big finger and typing is slower and less accurate (See Tables1). This has becomes common issues for touch screen phone, so if people want to buy touch screen phone they have to really think about it.
Conversely, keyboard phone has obvious advantages whereby one can text faster and it is easy to use. And also students do not think that keyboard has gone out of fashion (See Table 2). There is only 1 student thinks that keyboard has gone out of fashion.
In the introduction of report it is pointed out that the CEO of Microsoft predicts that touch screen will dominate the future in the world in 10 years. From the research 76% students agree that touch screen will be the future phone (see Chart 2), but half of the 76% students will not buy touch screen phone because they look forward to a phone that has both features.
Price is still the main consideration factor when buying a new phone. As my interviewees are university students of the same age, they really follow the fashion. But interestingly we found from the survey that touch screen phone is not very popular and there are only 8 students using touch screen phone currently. The majority of the students use a keyboard phone (see Chart 4). From table 1 and table 2 we can prove that most people like keyboard phone and another reason is because the price is good. Conversely people reject touch screen phone because the price is expensive currently.
Limitations and Future work
The greatest limitation of the project is that only 31 students were involved in the survey and the small sample size does not have significant representativeness. To obtain more accurate data, big sample size is needed. Future work should involve a larger number of people.
Another limitation is that I cannot proof whether it is true that texting a lot will hurt the wrists. Because my question is not designed well, I cannot get more useful information from the survey. In my questionnaire I put this issue as weakness of keyboard phone, but did not set a single question to ask students. For future work I should separate this from qestuon5 and make a new single question to ask people whether they agree with it.
In addition, the sample is only selected from RM1 class and the age of sample students is mostly 20~ 30 years old. So the research did not cover a wide range of age group. Future work will cover different age group.
Another limitation about the sample is that only 7 female were involved in the survey. So we do not get enough information on the hobby and liking of women. For future work, we will invite more women to do the survey.
Also a random sample should be captured and not only focus on AUT students, and interview should also include outside people with different occupation.
I have learnt several things from this research.
Firstly if you decide to do questionnaire then pilot run is very important. Because in the beginning of the research when I finished my questionnaire I thought that it is good and it can be used to interview students. But then Dr Diana said that I should carry out a pilot with 2 or 3 people before going into the formal interview. So I took the questionnaire to interview 3 friends and then I found that some questions were not well designed. For example, one of my questions is: Do you like touch screen phone or keyboard phone? The answer for that only has 3 options: touch screen phone, keyboard or no idea. Actually one of my interviewers liked a phone that has both features, but he has got no other option and had to choose one of the answers [See appendix 1 question3].
Another example is in the first questionnaire, one question is: Why do you like touch screen phone, and inside this question there is a sub question why do you not like keyboard phone? This question confuses interviewers because someone like touch screen phone does not mean that they do not like keyboard phone. [See appendix 1 question4a].
So from the pilot run I realized that the first questionnaire was not designed well. Actually after correcting the first questionnaire and putting the second questionnaire to do the pilot run, I also found some issues. The formal questionnaire which was used to interview people is fourth edition. But from the above discussion about the limitation we can see that my fourth edition still has problem, because I did not get the result about hurting wrists when texting a lot.
I learnt from my experience that to do questionnaire, one really need to do pilot run and after pilot run should try to analyze the data. Because this is another way to check whether the question is well set and one could get useful information from it. After those stages then one can go to interview people.
The second thing that I have learnt from the research is that analysis of data is not very easy.
After the interview I did a summary table to count the result for each question.
For example 13 people like touch screen phone or 4 people will buy keyboard phone for their next purchase. But when I look at the summary table to find out how many people like touch screen phone and also will buy touch screen phone, I could not get an answer. Because the summary table just counts the result for each question, and did not count for different category. So I had to review the 31 questionnaire to recount, and record again the result in different category.
I cannot say that it is a waste time when I did that again because there are only 31 samples. But if it is large numbers of samples, I think Ireally need to consider how to analyze the primary data.
In addition, I really want to use a good chart to show the whole result of the research as what was seen in class. I have tried to draw the mind map to insert the different chart, but it did not look good. So eventually I had to use 4 charts to show the results.
Finally when I am writing the report I felt that there is an interesting thing that I want to know for future study. I remembered I read a new stating that nowadays woman prefer to date with a man with Iphone. Personally I really want to find out if it is true. Is Does Iphone has such attraction? So by doing this research, it really extended my thinking. In the beginning I was stuck to find an interesting topic, but after doing the research step by step, I felt that there are lots of things that can be involved in the research. So I definitely have learnt the basic knowledge on how to do research from this project.