All posts about
Tablet design

Tools for mobile UX design: Task flows

When something can be carried around and the context changes, what does it mean for Design.

“For years, really ever since User Experience became a practice area with processes and principles, we’ve been saying that the best time to engage with a project is early. But we simply do not exercise that principle often enough. We’re all too happy to please our bosses and clients in the short term—and let them insist that we can do our work fast, cheap, and well.”

(Steven Hoober ~ UXmatters)

Tablet UX research from the pioneer days

“Always learn from history. Predicting the future is a waste of time.

InfoDesign gem #6,800 ~ “The PenPoint tablet was ahead of its time and too expensive and heavy, but had gestural syntax and personal-productivity benefits that we can still learn from.”

(Jakob Nielsen ~ Nielsen Norman Group)

Gestural control: The good, the bad, and the ugly

A nice gesture to LinkedIn.

“Gestural control of our consumer electronics is now commonplace. We use gestures on phones and tablets, screens and laptops, games and special environments. They now appear on watches and more specialized items, such as navigation systems. They are starting to be deployed on commercial and industrial equipment.”

(Donald A. Norman a.k.a. @jnd1er)

Motion and gesture interactions in the digital age

Gesture and motion design requires more inspiration from dance.

“From his talk at Codemotion, Antonio De Pasquale explains how technological advances have allowed a big step forward in the dynamic behaviors and interactions patterns that we used to do on the web. Lots of interesting stuff, dig in.”

(Antonio de Pasquale)

Google Glass and the experience of experience

Wearables as the new hunting grounds for designers dealing with perception, cognition and emotion.

“In this article, experience is described as interpretation, and semiotics are applied to analyze the new wearable augmented reality product, Google Glass. Various readings of Google Glass are offered, and a prediction is generated which implies that through drawing on the traditional syntax of spectacles (eye glasses) a greater user group will be reached including not just technology leaders or adventurers, but also technology laggards. Experience takes place before, during, and after technology usage, and by making new devices more familiar to the target market, there is increased likelihood that user experience will be positive.”

(Rebekah Rousi ~ UX magazine)

Here’s what you need to know about the future of gesture-based UI design

Great gestures make a big difference.

“Gestures are becoming the most integral UI function on smartphones and yet most people aren’t using them to their full potential. We ask designers what they’re doing to improve user experience.”

(Rani Molla a.k.a. @ranimolla ~ GigaOm)

The future of user interfaces

Minority Report in laymen’s terms. HCI for academics

“We are web designers and developers. As obvious as our work is (we build interactive media applications) there’s a deeper meaning to what we do. We analyze design problems and explore different concepts to solve them. This also means that we think of the communication between a device and the user. We develop that communication. We design what the user sees and does.”

(Sven Lenaerts a.k.a. @svenlen ~ tut+)

Touch Targets for Application Design

Principles for touch-based user interfaces.

“(…) deeper dive into designing touch-based interactions. That is, how large we need to make our application controls and where should we place them on screen in order to optimize for touch. In addition to general guidelines, I also showcase a before and after design that converts a keyboard and mouse application to a touch-optimized interface by rethinking navigation, input controls, and more.”

(Luke Wroblewski a.k.a. @LukeW)

Tablet Versus PC: A Creative Decision

Computers with a different form factor, but a computer.

“Both tablets and traditional PCs have strengths in content creation, but they are strengths of different types. And their different strengths have more to do with the creative process than the content itself. This assessment of the nature of these differences that I’ve outlined here is an intuition that needs further validation through research.”

(Ryan Bell ~ UXmatters)

Augmented Paper

There’s some real magic in all these apps.

“Design an experience. Make it as beautiful – and as emotionally resonant – as it can possibly be. Then adorn the core experience and content with only as much functionality as is absolutely necessary. Functionality – and software-based thinking in general – is like seasoning. A little is an enhancement; any more destroys the flavour, subsumes the artistry of the chef, and may well be bad for you. These new classes of devices, so immediately personal and portable and tactile, aren’t desktop-era shrines demanding incantation and prostration. They’re empowering extensions to our real, actual lives – and that’s a profound thing. They take what was once prosaic or mundane, and give us just a taste of superpowers. They’re augmentations, and they should be beautiful.”

(Matt Gemmell a.k.a. @mattgemmell)

Interactive eBook Apps: The Reinvention of Reading and Interactivity

Pinging my CD-ROM memories full of interactive storytelling.

“The invention of the tablet PC has created a new medium for book publishing. Interactive books are everywhere, and have revolutionized the way people consume the printed word. With the recent software available to allow easy creation of interactive books and with the race to bring these products to market, there seems to be a more and more dilution of quality and a loss for the meaning of interactivity. When publishers create new eBook titles or convert a traditional printed book to a digital interactive eBook, they often miss the added value this new medium can provide.”

(Avi Itzkovitch a.k.a. @xgmedia ~ UX Magazine) ~ courtesy of vanderbeeken

Mobile Sites vs. Apps: The Coming Strategy Shift

In the end, open standards will always survive proprietary technologies. But it can take a while.

“Mobile apps currently have better usability than mobile sites, but forthcoming changes will eventually make a mobile site the superior strategy.”

(Jakob Nielsen ~ Alertbox)

TapSense: Enhancing Finger Interaction on Touch Surfaces

A completely new HCI paradigm sets in.

“At present, finger input on touch screens is handled very simplistically – essentially boiled down to an X/Y coordinate. However, human fingers are remarkably sophisticated, both in their anatomy and motor capabilities. TapSense is an enhancement to touch interaction that allows conventional screens to identify how the finger is being used for input. This is achieved by segmenting and classifying sounds resulting from a finger’s impact. Our system can recognize different finger locations – including the tip, pad, nail and knuckle – without the user having to wear any electronics. This opens several new and powerful interaction opportunities for touch input, especially in mobile devices, where input bandwidth is limited due to small screens and fat fingers. For example, a knuckle tap could serve as a ‘right click’ for mobile device touch interaction, effectively doubling input bandwidth. Our system can also be used to identify different sets of passive tools. We conclude with a comprehensive investigation of classification accuracy and training implications. Results show our proof-of-concept system can support sets with four input types at around 95% accuracy. Small, but useful input sets of two (e.g., pen and finger discrimination) can operate in excess of 99% accuracy.”

(Chris Harrison) courtesy of dansaffer

Designing Metro style apps that are touch-optimized

By exception, a proprietary tech video on HCI.

“Get the knowledge and guidance needed to build an app for an intuitive, powerful touch experience. Understand how touch design principles are firmly grounded in customer needs of comfort and utility. Discover how your app can use Windows 8 touch language and patterns, capabilities like smart targeting and semantic zoom, and new interactions like ‘slide to select’ and ‘hold to learn’ to engage your customers.”

(Jan-Kristian Markiewicz & Kay Hofmeester a.k.a. @kayhof ~ BUILD 2011)

Kindle Fire Usability Findings

Putting your fingers on Fire, then what happens?

“Mobile web sites work best on the 7-inch tablet. Users had great trouble touching the correct items on full sites, where UI elements are too small on the Fire screen.”

(Jakob Nielsen ~ Alertbox)

A Brief Rant on The Future of Interaction Design

Couldn’t deny the proper framing of ‘Pictures Under Glass’.

“As it happens, designing Future Interfaces For The Future used to be my line of work. I had the opportunity to design with real working prototypes, not green screens and After Effects, so there certainly are some interactions in the video which I’m a little skeptical of, given that I’ve actually tried them and the animators presumably haven’t. But that’s not my problem with the video. My problem is the opposite, really — this vision, from an interaction perspective, is not visionary. It’s a timid increment from the status quo, and the status quo, from an interaction perspective, is actually rather terrible. This matters, because visions matter. Visions give people a direction and inspire people to act, and a group of inspired people is the most powerful force in the world. If you’re a young person setting off to realize a vision, or an old person setting off to fund one, I really want it to be something worthwhile. Something that genuinely improves how we interact. This little rant isn’t going to lay out any grand vision or anything. I just hope to suggest some places to look.”

(Bret Victor a.k.a. @worrydream ~ WorryDream)

Two Extremes of Touch Interaction

Touch this, touch that.

“Microsoft Research Redmond researchers Hrvoje Benko and Scott Saponas have been investigating the use of touch interaction in computing devices since the mid-’00s. Now, two sharply different yet related projects demonstrate novel approaches to the world of touch and gestures.”

(Janie Chang ~ Microsoft Research)