Portrait Versus Landscape

Author:
Jeffrey M. Quinn, Justin Eddings, Tony Stewart
Company/School:
Sprint

PORTRAIT VERSUS LANDSCAPE
TASK AND HARDWARE DETERMINE USER'S MOBILE PHONE ORIENTATION BEHAVIOR

Jeffrey M. Quinn, Justin Eddings, & Tony Stewart
Sprint

Few guidelines exist to allow designers to anticipate the orientation in which people will hold their phones while using a particular application. In the absence of such guidelines, it may be difficult to know whether to optimize an app for portrait versus landscape orientation. The present research used an online survey to gather information about the ways that people typically hold their phones. For each of six phone tasks (e.g., dial a number, write a message), participants reported whether they perform the task in portrait, landscape, or both. Results showed that participants’ tendencies to use a particular phone orientation depended on the task being performed, the phone’s form factor/data input method, and screen size. Participants used portrait orientation frequently, but large screens, the presence of a slide out Qwerty keyboard, and the need to perform tasks involving typing or watching video all appeared to encourage increased use of landscape orientation.

 

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