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)
UX design for real professionals.
"Flat design hides calls to action, and swiping around the edges can interfere with carousels and scrolling."
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."
Usability in a new form factor has its own idiosyncrasies.
"Flat design and improperly rescaled design are the main threats to tablet usability, followed by poor gestures and workflow."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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
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."
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."
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."
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)
I love the phrase "Jakob Nielsen has long been at the forefront of information architecture innovation."
"It's a common misconception that UX for mobile is all about creating something for users on-the-go - users with little time, checking in on their mobile on the train or at the bus stop waiting for a bus. But today's mobile user is so much more than that, with the rise in tablet usage further contributing to the growth and variety of their needs. No longer can UX practitioners expect to satisfy the mobile user with added pinch-and-zoom functionality or bigger call-to-action buttons; these things are expected, and don't improve UX. So as mobile use continues to grow in popularity and capability, how can we better appeal to a mobile audience?"
(Laura Hampton ~ UX Magazine)
"While the Internet is a text–saturated world, reading online screens tends to be significantly different from reading printed text. This review essay examines literature from a variety of disciplines on the technological, social, behavioural, and neuroscientific impacts that the Internet is having on the practice of reading. A particular focus is given to the reading behaviour of emerging university students, especially within Canada and the United States. A brief overview is provided of the recent transformation of academic libraries into providers of online digital text in addition to printed books and other materials, before looking at research on college students' preferences for print and digital text, and the cognitive neuroscience of reading on screen."
"iPad apps are much improved, but new usability problems have emerged, such as swipe ambiguity and navigation overload."
"There were really a lot of usability problems in this first-generation of iPad applications. It's often quite difficult for people to discover what they have to do because the options are not very visible. I have to say of both the device itself and the content, it's very attractive, which is good. But at the same time, overemphasising the attractiveness and hiding the functionality, that does cause problems." (The Guardian) - courtesy of oliverreichenstein
"The usability crisis is upon us, once again. We suspect most of you thought it was over. After all, HCI certainly understands how to make things usable, so the emphasis has shifted to more engaging topics, such as exciting new applications, new technological developments, and the challenges of social networks and ubiquitous connection and communication. Well you are wrong." (Donald A. Norman and Jakob Nielsen)
"The conclusion of the Nielsen Norman Group's April 2010 study of iPad usability is that it has problems and more standards are the solution. Yes, the iPad is imperfect, but resorting to standards as the solution is an antiquated reaction that fails to consider how interactive systems have evolved. We're not usability engineers anymore (not most of us, anyway); we're user experience designers. Experience is more than just usability." (Fred Beecher ~ Johnny Holland)
"The iPad has been hailed as an interface triumph. But one usability expert has published an exhaustive critique of the iPad, taking it to task for the inconsistency and obscurity of its apps’ interfaces. The problem, at its core: A lack of interface standards means every app behaves in a different way." (Wired) courtesy of apblog
"iPad apps are inconsistent and have low feature discoverability, with frequent user errors due to accidental gestures. An overly strong print metaphor and weird interaction styles cause further usability problems." (Jakob Nielsen ~ Alertbox)
"A set of resources w/ Dan's motto Tab is the new Click." (LukeW)
"For those of us around Apple for the launch of the 1984 Mac, things are awfully familiar. In bringing that original Mac to market, Steve hit on a formula that worked for him. He keeps repeating it, and it seems to get better every time. It worked for the iPhone, and it worked for the iPad, too. Here are the necessary elements." (Bruce Tognazzini)
"(...) a unique set of resources for software designers and developers working on touch-based user interfaces." (LukeW)
"Touch screen interfaces may be trendy in gadget design, but that doesn't mean they do everything elegantly. The finger is simply too blunt for many tasks. A new interface, called Manual Deskterity, attempts to combine the strengths of touch interaction with the precision of a pen." (Erica Naone - MIT Technology Review)
"This blog is a personal project and the opinions here are strictly my own." (Kevin Arthur)
"With the iPad, we finally have a platform for consuming rich-content in digital form. What does that mean? To understand just why the iPad is so exciting we need to think about how we got here." (Craig Mod)
"The iPad may be a larger version of the iPhone in terms of the hardware and operating system, but treating it as the same device would be foolish. It turns out that increasing the display size of touch-screen hardware can transform it into an entirely new class of device. The iPad is a productivity platform in a way that the iPhone rightly never tried to be." (Matt Legend Gemmell)