Thinking Out of the Box

Posts Tagged ‘Micro-Interactions’

Touching the desktop – Modern micro-interaction and burdens of the past

Maren Wolff

They are considered intuitive and their handling easy to learn – Touchscreens. To humans it feels far more natural to touch an object of interest with the finger on screen instead of using the mouse. Apart from the clearly easier hand-eye-coordination, touchscreens create an elegant and user friendly experience through merging input and output actions into one device.

But even despite of all these advantages, they can create a lot of frustration and anger, which probably every one of us has realized at some point. For example: If you accidently call someone although you only tried to scroll down the address list, if you have to type in a word five times, because you hit the wrong letter, or the alignment of “Ok” and “Cancel” is so narrow that you are afraid to click the wrong one. It would be too good to be true, if touchscreens did not raise new usability problems. Especially the usage of desktop operating systems like Windows 7 or OS X with touch devices creates a bunch of problems. read more…

“Make it Like the iPhone” – Revisited

Markus Weber
Markus Weber
November 30th, 2011

Three years ago, we published a blog article that shed some light on the development of the iPhone. The motivation for writing the article was the fact that the iPhone was often used as reference when talking about usability goals and user interface design ideals and that design requests often could be roughly summed up as “Make it like the iPhone”. The blog article described of aspects of iPhone development that did not get the same publicity as the product and its user interface themselves. Those aspects were

  • Apple’s complete control over design, manufacturing and marketing,
  • a completely new operating system that had been created and
  • the considerable effort in terms of time and money that had been invested in the project.

In the meantime, Apple has created several new versions of the iPhone and even included a completely new product in its portfolio: the iPad. After those success stories, it is no surprise that reference to “user interfaces like Apple” is still made. It is therefore appropriate to revisit the topic and add some insights regarding the “Apple design process” in general that have become known to a larger public, not least through the Steve Jobs biography. Such insights can prevent misguided approaches in which Apple-like results shall be reached without implementing a corresponding process.
read more…

Micro-Interactions vs. Macro-Interactions

Markus Weber

In order to successfully conduct user-centered-design projects, it is important for the team to have a shared vocabulary and understanding of key concepts. Grave misunderstandings can occur, when the parties involved use identical terminology, but the concepts that they refer to diverge. This starts with terms like “usability” or “user experience”, for which – in the worst case – you can find as many different explanations as there are members on the project team. Confusion can also arise regarding the concept of “interaction design”.
read more…

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