With the iPad, Apple is basically asserting: this is not a computer. It’s not a phone. It’s a home media device. Just as people didn’t understand initially that the iPhone wasn’t a phone but a mobile computing device, the iPad isn’t really a computer; it’s a personal media consumption and browsing device.
For the March 2010 issue of Boards Magazine, Emily Gobeille and I worked with Nexus Productions to develop an interactive cover experience called Rise and Fall. Here is a little preview of the experience.
In this installation YesYesNo teamed up with The Church, Inside Out Productions and Electric Canvas to turn the Auckland Ferry Building into an interactive playground. Our job was to create an installation that would go beyond merely projection on buildings and allow viewers to become performers, by taking their body movements and amplifying them 5 stories tall.
Simplifying the interface of the terminal would not be accepted by most users because, as ethnographic studies show, they take pride on manipulating Bloomberg’s current “complex” interface. The pain inflicted by blatant UI flaws such as black background color and yellow and orange text is strangely transformed into the rewarding experience of feeling and looking like a hard-core professional.
The more painful the UI is, the more satisfied these users are.
The Bloomberg Terminal interface looks terrible, but it allows traders and other users to pretend you need to be experienced and knowledgeable to use it.
Unfortunately, I’ve found that designers are much less likely to consider the opposite of Fitts’ Law, which is arguably just as important.
If we should make UI elements we want users to click on large, and ideally place them at corners or edges for maximum clickability — what should we do with UI elements we don’t want users to click on? Like, say, the “delete all my work” button?
Auto Smiley is a computer vision application that runs in the background while you work. The software analyzes your face while you are working and if it detects a smile it sends the the ascii smiley face letters “: ” as keyboard presses to the front most application. Auto Smiley has many uses from just straight up convenience to enforcing honesty in your online communication :
Interesting notes from a talk on designing Firefox by Alex Faaborg:
There are two distinct approaches to design
One focuses on user-research to find out what people need/want. This approach is exemplified by Microsoft and is used mostly to mitigate risk. The downside of this “user testing” model is that users can lead you astray. For example, if you ask everyone what their favorite color is the average will be gray.
The second tries to bring a specific vision to life and an impression of the user they want to have. This approach is exemplified by Apple and can result in huge success or failure. The downside of this “strong designer” model is if designers don’t know what they are doing, it could be a disaster.
Unhappy Hipsters: It’s lonely in the modern world.
All the Pantons, Barcelonas and Eames’ chairs tragically remind me of the inadequacies of my own seating arrangements…