In a survey of VoIP users, a Forrester Research analyst has found the low-cost calling technology to be too complicated to appeal to mass-market users.
Forrester's Zayera Khan found voice-over-IP navigation systems generally to be a problem with users who are bewildered by a plethora of icons, buttons, rollovers, and navigation features. Khan cited the lack of clear keyword search capability as another problem.
Khan said "highly educated males hungry for the latest technology" was the group most comfortable with VoIP. But when they began using market pace setters like Skype and Windows Live Messenger, only 4% continued to use those services.
The report, "The VoIP Customer Experience: Work In Progress," said the leading VoIP vendors like Skype, Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, and ICQ still haven't developed user-friendly services.
"Icons, graphics, buttons, rollovers and navigation menus are not clearly symbolized, which leads to confusion when trying to discern whether a phone symbol represents voice or video calling, for instance," the report stated. "Mainstream consumers worry about privacy and security policies because they are not displayed on all relevant pages."