Designing for unfamiliar interfaces


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a 0.1 version of a talk on designing for novel interfaces. given at reading geek night, december 2011.

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  • gestural interface from siemens healthcare\nin familiar interfaces, can dial back the cues for interactive elements. but when we are less familiar with the interaction’s possibilities, need to dial that right back up. or come up with a better solution.\n
  • when you don’t know what to touch, results may make no sense.\nwhen you lack feedback, can input wrong information.\n
  • a more embodied interface feels like it ought to be more expressive, but not if we don’t understand the interaction or don’t have existing conventions to draw upon\n
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  • Designing for unfamiliar interfaces

    1. 1. Designing forUnfamiliar Interfaces Daniel Soltis
    2. 2. The Tale of the DongleStatus: Connected. Light blinks every 200ms.
    3. 3. The Tale of the DongleStatus: Network error. Light blinks every 270ms.
    4. 4. from Gestural Interfaces: A Step Backwards In Usability“There are several important fundamental principles of interaction design that arecompletely independent of technology: ·       Visibility (also called perceived affordances or signifiers) ·       Feedback ·       Consistency (also known as standards) ·       Non-destructive operations (hence the importance of undo) ·       Discoverability: All operations can be discovered by systematic exploration of menus ·       Scalability. The operation should work on all screen sizes, small and large. ·       Reliability. Operations should work. Period. And events should not happen randomly.All these are rapidly disappearing from the toolkit of designers.”Donald A. Norman and Jakob Nielsen
    5. 5. Unfamiliar InterfacesNo screen, minimal screen, odd screen
    6. 6. Unfamiliar InterfacesNovel input methods
    7. 7. Unfamiliar InterfacesDistance between input and actuation
    8. 8. Why do I care?Sine Sole Soleo - TinkerHand Drawn - Moving BrandsTypo - TinkerHomesense - Tinker
    9. 9. Why should you care?New interfaces can inspire and enable newpossibilities, but only if they make senseSometimes people ask ‘how did you make that’ butoften they ask ‘so what?’Novelty, exploration, or product?
    10. 10. Why don’t we all care?Technical proof of concept != design(and that’s fine!)Hobbyist/fun != interface design(and that’s fine!)Design gets shaped by technical possibility/feasibilityrather than design intention(not so great)Design challenges can be difficult orobvious only in hindsight
    11. 11. Key design challengescause:what can I act on and what do my actions mean?effect:is there feedback, can I perceive it, and what does ittell me?the minority report problem:do I have the physical skill to perform a task?learning curve:how much time am I willing to invest in learning thissystem?
    12. 12. Learning Curvethe zero learning curve challenge
    13. 13. Learning Curvetrust (cause and effect, not strategies and consequences)
    14. 14. Causeaffordance
    15. 15. Causeaccidental inputs
    16. 16. Causenatural, expressive, intuitive?
    17. 17. Effectimmediate – or at all
    18. 18. Effectcomprehensible
    19. 19. Effectin the right place/for the right sense
    20. 20. Physical Challengedexterity/multitasking
    21. 21. Physical Challengeendurance
    22. 22. Ways to meet those challenges?Don’t throw out the familiar. Conventions, metaphor,discoverability, consistency can all be helpful.Pay particular attention to sensory and physicalfactors.Provide feedback at the point of interaction,preferably with the same sense as used for the input.User test, iterate, design with intention, etc.
    23. 23. Thanks!Daniel