Cookies help us in providing our services. By using our services, you agree that we save Cookies. Learn more.

Close

Thinking Out of the Box

Uncommunicative – do I really need a smartwatch? (Pebble review)

Tobias Gölzer

Times have changed. Back in the time, during my school days, before smartphones flooded the market, I felt naked without my watch. This most important accessory was also some kind of status symbol and could never be missing. I looked at it probably a hundred times a day, consciously or unconsciously. Every morning when I left the house and had forget the watch at home for some reason, I walked around all day with the feeling, that something important is missing.

Several years later, I got my first smartphone. read more…

Not Lost in Translation – About Icons and Interpreters

David Patrizi

Icon design is my day-to-day business, ranging from universally applicable Home icons to very special icons for the wiring of electric relays in substations. Recently I learned that interpreters also use symbols to be able to “sketch” the meaning of spoken words quickly and recall them later. I used this occasion to take a step back and look at other helpful uses for symbols.
read more…

Developing (a bit more) Look & Feel aware Java Swing code

Patrick Decker
Patrick Decker
May 30th, 2014

Intro

This article is intended for developers that are creating and/or maintaining applications with a Java Swing based GUI. Though JavaFX is being pushed as the “new Swing” nowadays, Swing is still around.
Look & Feels are inextricably linked with every Swing application. Even if none is used explicitly, every time, a Swing based GUI is created, a Look & Feel cares about the look and (you may guess it) the feel of what you see and interact with on the screen.

A Look & Feel – so its official title says – is pluggable. This means you can plug a new or different one to your application (strongly simplified, as this actually goes down to the level of a single JComponent). You may now ask: “But why should I care, if I do not change the Look & Feel now?” In an ideal world, you would not need to care. But, as often when using something, there are contracts.

This is what this article is about. I want to point out why you should care and develop or even maintain your Java Swing GUI or custom component with the pluggable Look & Feel technology in mind.

read more…

Why observing competitors may be detrimental

Markus Weber
Markus Weber
April 14th, 2014

Observing competitors is a common activity in user interface design. It may, e.g., take the form of the designer collecting insights regarding design approaches of relevant competitors when a project is started. Later in a project, the user interface may be benchmarked against competitors’ solutions. While including insights about competing solutions may enrich a user interface design project, such observations are also associated with some pitfalls. A user interface designer should be aware of those in order to not endanger the success of a project. This article describes some aspects to keep in mind when engaging in competitor observation.
read more…

Evaluation of the game experience of „Need for Speed: Rivals”

Jörg Niesenhaus

In December Centigrade carried out an evaluation of the racing game “Need for Speed: Rivals” for Electronic Arts – one of the biggest publishers and developers of computer- and videogames. Focus of the evaluation was the recording and analysis of the game experience under consideration of different situations in the game.

Based on their vast experience regarding the evaluation of computer and videogames, the pilot study was conducted by the Centigrade team of the North-Western branch under direction of Joerg Niesenhaus in close collaboration with the Deutsche Sporthochschule in Cologne. The Deutsche Sporthochschule runs a state-of-the-art interaction lab and contributed expertise in the evaluation of interactive entertainment via Dr. Carsten Moeller.
read more…

It’s time to redesign email

Andreas Burghart
Andreas Burghart
December 10th, 2013

Some new e-mail clients have been introduced recently. Unibox, Airmail, Mail Pilot and others feature convincing visual design, increased joy of use and intriguing interaction concepts.
In my opinion, the person-centered approach of Unibox is very promising. Instead of being organized in a folder hierarchy, e-mails are sorted based on contacts (friends, colleagues, etc.), which results in speedier e-mail retrieval. In addition, one almost forgets that one is dealing with e-mails – it feels more like a conversation between two people. I wonder why nobody has thought of this approach earlier.

The redesigns have inspired me to have closer look at e-mail clients and propose some additional concepts.

read more…

10 reasons why the “serious” software industry can learn from computer games in terms of user experience – Part 2

Günter Pellner
Günter Pellner
August 14th, 2013

In Part 1, we discovered that the emotional factor of user experience is more important to games than goal-oriented functionality (though being an effective and efficient way of reaching a goal, there is no “Save the Princess” button in a Mario game at the beginning). Up to a certain degree, well-designed user experiences can distract from negative and/or not fixable interaction flaws and can make users “like” an application more than another.

Furthermore the diverse team composition of game development studios was discussed in the first part. In this context we pointed out that the production process of games forces programmers and visual designers to work closely together. Design is not seen as an add-on but as an essential part, which is necessary for the product to work.

The last chapter focused on the aspect of small budgets in game projects. Rapid iterative testing and evaluation (RITE) helps to detect and fix flaws of a UI in a very fast way, thus reducing time and money spent on traditional usability optimization.

In Part 2 we will look at the aspects of imaginary worlds and the link between reality and simulation. Thereafter, we will show which techniques are used in games to reduce loading, and even more important, waiting times. In the last section we compare how serious applications and games introduce their functionality to the user. To get a better understanding of the concept of Gamification you can also read: “Gamification as a design process” by my colleague Jörg Niesenhaus.
read more…

„We need Ribbons“ – Pros and Cons

Tobias Gölzer
Tobias Gölzer
June 28th, 2013

“We need ribbons” is the new “Make it like the iPhone“. Since Microsoft introduced ribbons as part of the Office Fluent User Interface with Office 2007, this sentence is frequently uttered by clients. The rationales for this requirement range from „Microsoft has probably put a lot of thought into it“ to „Our customers are used to Office“. Ribbons seem to be perceived as a remedy for poor usability. But not every interface benefits from using ribbons.

read more…

Desktop Modern UI

Jonas Stallmeister

Microsoft’s Modern UI design language has arrived in many applications with varying success. By now, almost everybody has seen Modern UI (formerly known as Metro), and Microsoft seems committed. Developers of Windows software have to think about the fact that a lot of established interfaces look out of place in a Modern UI environment. It needs to be adapted to the current state of interface design, even more with Apple similarly moving iOS 7 to a flat UI style. Working on such updates, we have collected a set of 10 design principles we call, for the sake of simplicity, “Desktop Modern UI”, and we want to share them with you. read more…

From windows to tiles: Contrasting WinRT´s UI framework with WPF – Another case study

Philip Schäfer

A while back, we have published a small case study illustrating our experiences gained in the course of porting an existing WP7-based application to WinRT. As we are continuously growing our competencies regarding WinRT development, we were able to identify a bunch of further differences between WinRT XAML and WPF XAML (as well as Silverlight or Windows Phone 7.X). In this blog post, we want to introduce you to some further prominent differences as well as important characteristics of the WinRT UI Framework that differentiate this API from WPF. Specifically, we will have a look at Bindings, Commands and DependencyProperties.
read more…

Want to know more about our services, products or our UX process?
We are looking forward to hearing from you.

Corporate Experience Manager
+49 681 959 3110
Contact form

Before sending your request, please confirm that we may contact you by clicking in the checkbox above.
  • Saarbrücken

    Science Park Saar, Saarbrücken

    South West Location

    Headquarter Saarbrücken
    Centigrade GmbH
    Science Park 2
    66123 Saarbrücken
    Germany
    Saarland
    On the map

    +49 681 959 3110

    +49 681 959 3119

  • Mülheim an der Ruhr

    Games Factory Mülheim an der Ruhr

    North West Location

    Office Mülheim
    Centigrade GmbH
    Kreuzstraße 1-3
    45468 Mülheim an der Ruhr
    Germany
    North Rhine-Westphalia
    On the map

    +49 208 883 672 89

    +49 681 959 3119

  • Haar · Munich

    Haar / München

    South Location

    Office Munich
    Centigrade GmbH
    Bahnhofstraße 18
    85540 Haar · Munich
    Germany
    Bavaria
    On the map

    +49 89 20 96 95 94

    +49 681 959 3119

  • Frankfurt am Main

    Frankfurt am Main

    Central Location

    Office Frankfurt
    Centigrade GmbH
    Kaiserstraße 61
    60329 Frankfurt am Main
    Germany
    Hesse
    On the map

    +49 69 241 827 91

    +49 681 959 3119