Posts Tagged ‘multitouch’

Revisiting Scifi, pt. 1

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Beyond Scifi: Design For Surfaces and Big Screens touched on a few different ideas in contextualizing futuristic UI design for real world usage with current technology. Many of the new platforms we’re using like touch tables, touch walls, and interactive TVs, seem straight out of sci-fi movies. However, in movies they’re often used as cinematic props or storytelling devices. Things that blow us away at the theater might actually be boring or frustrating for an actual user. So I pulled out some common challenge areas and decision points that can keep futuristic platforms feeling cool and futuristic for users. The key areas I’ll be posting blog articles about are:

1. Communal Computing
2. Modes of Interaction
3. Leniency of Input
4. Modes of Free Gesture


Touch Screen Usability Meetup

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

I’ll be speaking Tuesday evening in Santa Monica at a meetup hosted by UPA-LA (Usability Professionals Association). Here’s the info, and the agenda is below…

• Wendy Ficklin, Creative Director at Primitive Spark, will present general usability considerations for different types of touch screens;

• Gavin Bowman, Game Developer at Retro Dreamer, will show what it takes to successfully design or adapt games for the iPhone and iPad;

• Bernadette Irizarry, Principal at Velvet Hammer Design, will present special considerations for designing and testing multi-touch kiosks;

• Colombene Jenner, Sr. UX Designer at Schematic, will discuss large scale multi-user touch screen projects.

SXSW 2010

Friday, March 5th, 2010

I’ll be talkin’ Tue. March 16 at 5pm in Austin, TX with developer Daniel Williams about Beyond Scifi: Design For Surfaces and Big Screens. In true beyond sci-fi fashion, I’ll give you a space food stick if you show up early and ask.

Here are the slides from our talk (with some very slight revisions for web posting). Podcast is scheduled to post in August.


…and you will know Apple by the trail of dead

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

It’s that time of year when Steve Jobs comes down from the mount and shares with us the latest impending Apple gadget. I followed this more closely than usual with an interest in multi-touch and was less surprised by the product and more intrigued by the lackluster response. Though apparently this is the drill with our volatile relationship with Apple products (noted by HuffPo and NYT amongst others).


However, thinking through a tablet and the best possible execution and positioning for the historically awkward platform, I’d be hard pressed to come up with something better. Lack of flash support isn’t great. Apple’s closed system has it’s downsides, but being an elitist control freak is what begets such holistic superior design. No multitasking has its advantages. They’re choices, trade-offs. If you’ve ever made anything you know you have to make hundreds to thousands of them, and few make them as well as Steve.

What’s notable in the iPad is less what’s emerging as what it’s ending – specifically, print and point & click. By introducing it as standing on the shoulders of Kindle, it’s clearly positioned to do what iPods did for music and CDs. The past few hundred years of books, magazines, and newspapers is over and a new, super easy digital ecosystem is being built to take their place. This is the last nail in the coffin for analogue media and something no general-use tablet has been positioned to do.

The other significant feature is that it is the first completely multi-touch computer designed as such, as opposed to a laptop with a keyboard and trackpad and a few awkward touch functions. This challenges the 25-year dominance of the mouse as primary computer input device. With the iPad being largely experiential and not in release, there’s much missing in live blogcasts of a product release keynote and even more lost on its most important potential audience – casual users. ‘Everyone’ is definitely a much larger and viable market than those sought by traditional tablets (realtors and doctors in TV shows?) or even of Apple computers (design/media professionals, rich hipsters?).