Don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE my
iPad. I use it everyday, multiple times per day. While it's ideally
suited for browsing content and most types of data entry it's not
always the right "tool in the toolbox" for real-time
data entry of IDPA scores. Let's think about Captain
Kirk with his communicator verses Spock with his Tricorder...
because I'm a Geek and I can. Which is more convenient to carry?
Which takes both hands? Which one do you have to stare at to use?
Just because the print can be larger on a tablet doesn't always
mean it's the best data entry device. Does your mobile phone have
to be as large as your tablet in order for you to use it well?
There is one caveat to my point however. A well designed interface is
needed to make the smaller format of a phone a realistic winner in
this duel. An interface where you have to use a stylus or the mini
keypad to enter data is just not practical, especially with people
over the age of 40 (sorry, but let's get real). Buttons need to be
large, print needs to be large and color contrasts clear. For
maximum efficiency you can't be switching between the software
keyboard and tapping all around the screen. A good software
design must choose one or the other. A good, efficient, usable
graphical user interface is one that you can stick with just tapping and minimize or
eliminate the need to use the software keyboard. The other
usability factor is the ability to use the app with only one hand
and even more ideally, with just one appendage, your thumb. There
is nothing sweeter than pulling out your phone, quickly using your
thumb to enter data and then returning the phone to your pocket.
One hand (one thumb) data entry rules the day on this matchup.
Speaking of local matches - let's face it, IDPA matches are mainly for fun. Data entry of scores, while necessary, should not
become a distraction or worse, a burdensome task. In this case, a smartphone that can be slipped in/out of your pocket and be
used quickly to record a score with one hand and your thumb is the optimum choice. Convenient wins the day!
We hope we hit the target on our UberScoreMaster user interface
design. As we use it ourselves we will continue to refine it and as
always, your suggestions and comments are welcome!
Tags: IDPA Score Entry, IDPA Scoring, IDPA Software, Software for Match Directors, Smartphones and Tablets for Score Entry
Rapid IDPA Score Entry, Publishing and Match Mangagement
Free web based data input and report generation for Match Directors