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Review: Jitterbug

Form Function Video Wrap Up Comments  26  

Menus Calls Contacts  

The Jitterbug has a highly simplified and unusual menu system. It most closely resembles the old yes / no menu system of Ericsson phones. Opening the phone, the screen reads "Voice Dial, yes to use." Pressing yes will start the voice dial prompt, pressing no will take you to the next menu item. The menus cycle:

voice dial > contact list > call log > voicemail > status.

There is no home screen, nor is there any status bar or other status display except for the screen in the menus. Alerts for missed calls or voicemail are displayed on the external display as well as on the internal screen when the phone is opened. Like menus, alerts are worded as questions so that pressing the yes / no keys make sense. For example the voicemail alert reads "You have 1 new voice message. Listen?"

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When you call to listen to your messages, the automated system also uses yes / no questions which you use the yes / no keys and not numeric keys to respond to. It's quite easy to use.


The menu screens are comprised of three parts. A top bar indicating which of the screens you are on, a large center section with information and a bottom bar with instructions. The screens are laid out well, but not necessarily designed for people with poor vision.

The top and bottom bars are medium shade of blue with white text. Despite the high contrast of the screen, this is not a high contrast color combination. Even though it uses a much larger font, the large center section is also difficult to read as it displays black text on a large white background. The designers used white text on a black background (which is much more readable by people with poor eyesight) for the keypad, however they did not do the same for the screen, where legibility is probably even more important.

The main font is also difficult for people with poor eyesight to read. The letters are square and spaced so close together that they all looked the same to people with poor vision who we asked to try the phone. Phone numbers are displayed in a completely different font which is actually a bit easier to read.


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