On Design: Don’t iPhone and drive

January 17, 2007

In December I was in a car with a CEO of a successful Canadian technology business and I was a little nervous.  The reason was because the CEO was driving at full speed while simultaneously checking his Blackberry for new emails.  Some people would be quite freaked out by this, but I was quite calm, because I knew he was a good driver and that thanks to the usability of the Blackberry, checking email did not actually take much of his attention.

I don’t have a Blackberry, but I know that they have a great wheel on the side that makes them incredibly easy and powerful to use.  You can scroll through emails and read them with one hand no problem.

Enter iPhone:



I don’t have an iPhone yet, and likely won’t get one when they are available, but I can see just from the reviews and the pictures that everything is dependent on the touch screens.  There are no mechanical buttons or wheels. Unless you are one of those people with unbelievable dexterity that can flip a coin through your fingers with one hand, I really doubt you will be able to check your email on the iPhone with one hand. Strictly because of this, I don’t see too many CEO’s (or millions of other busy business people) using the iPhone on a regular basis.

Jason Fried also thinks the iPhone’s lack of touchy feelyness and the fact that you are forced to look at it could be a concern.

about the author

Co-Founder & VP of Operations, FreshBooks Levi is a professional engineer with a BEng from the University of Victoria. Before co-founding FreshBooks as the VP of Operations, Levi managed projects at Apex Systems Integrators Inc., where his clients included Canadian Tire, Nestlé and Parmalat. Levi’s long term goals include: never losing the contest to wear shorts to the office for as long as humanly possible, some day growing back his mullet he had in the eighties and getting on the jumbotron at the Raptors game at least once a year.