[LINK] more on interface design

sylvano sylvano at gnomon.com.au
Sun Jan 24 08:32:20 AEDT 2010

On Sun, 2010-01-24 at 07:53 +1100, Ivan Trundle wrote:
> On 24/01/2010, at 12:00 AM, Steven Clark wrote:
> > The input device is less precise, but I am still manipulating icons on a
> > screen. Hardly a revolutionary interface idea.
> True, but the range of possible options in manipulating the interface is different, so the interface doesn't have to be the same. Most iPhone apps don't use 'drop-down menus' but rather encourage gesture control (pinching, zooming, rotating, shaking) which mostly don't have iconic representation on the screen.
> It is pointing to (pardon the pun) a different understanding of how a GUI works, using totally different controls. The upcoming Apple tablet extends this further (apparently) in ways which involve a different set of skills not required in any other GUI.

I agree. The move to finger touch interface does demand a complete
rethink by designers on how to achieve tasks on a device.

I resisted moves to earlier smart phone/PDAs purely on the basis that
they required a stylus. I'd be constantly losing them and I found them
overly fiddly. Not that I thought it at the time, but it's so obvious
now how the complaint of them being too fiddly was merely symptomatic of
the fact that the stylus itself was only a solution to the wrong headed
approach of mimicking a desktop environment on a little screen.

It's like any accesibility issue, on one level: how does one design an
interface to facilitate the user to do something, if they rely on finger
touch for controlling things?  Just one example, a stylus kind of
assumes a single point pointer, where as finger touch provides multi
finger gestures to be used.

While where on the topic, here's a link to some reasonably impressive
drawings produced on the iPhone for the New Yorker.


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