Big success for the September edition of UX Book Club
. This time, the book for review was Brave NUI World: Designing Natural User Interfaces for Touch and Gesture.
The space Nealite
lent for the event was full of attendants, and some snacks and drinks were provided. For near 2h30 we were talking and discussing about Natural User Interfaces, Touch devices and Mobile developement, always around this very interesting book. We represented a good profile diversity, with designers, UX, and programming people, which shows up how multidisciplinary and transversal is this book's target audience.
The first half of the book is more dedicated to hint about "checklists" for any interaction designer pretending to start thinking about patterns and navigation through a NUI. the authors keep thinking that NUI should not be read as "natural + user interface", but more like "natural user + interface", which has more sense as no interaction with a screen, nor gesture paradigm, should be called "natural" as "intuitive" and "learning free".
A Babyborn UI
Anyway, It is evident that this kind of NUI are in their babyhood right now, and we should see vast improvements in defining standard patterns as in enjoying more complex applications in a near future. After all, some still remember how simple were the first wave of WIMP software (ie macpaint, macwrite).
Photo thanks to Valentin Brandt
This book is, in fact, a first effort in establishing a background, based in the extensive experience the authors have had in Microsoft Surface platform, from where new ideas, initiatives and discussion must arise in order to make the NUI paradigm grow.
One of the key aspects of the book is the need of a rethink and rewrite apps from scratch in order to make them fit into NUI experience. In the conversation that we had with one of the authors, Daniel Wigdor, he shared a valuable insight: the lifespan of a new technology has 3 key stages.
First one is the "proof of concept"
; the demo apps, the fireworks that make the "wooow" effect on the audience.
The second stage comes when creators start using the technology for create apps, usually trying to accomplish the same tasks they did before, but with this new media. this is a trial and error moment, where lots of apps fail to get the point
of the technology.
And the third key stage is when, suddenly, somebody starts from scratch
, and creates, from a blank sheet, a way to take advantage of the new technology with its own tools. What the book tries to give us is the basic tools for rethinking, and arrive to this third stage sooner
He is one of the co-authors of the book, now off Microsoft (where he co-wrote it) and a Toronto University computer science teacher
. Daniel agreed to have a very interesting Skype chat with us. He started with alittle known fact: part of this book has been used to create a Microsoft white paper to give Windows8 developers a good start in designing their applications with NUI in mind.
That said, the remark made in the beginning of the book regarding the intended scope of NUI applications (social sharing, retail/shops/transactions, public spaces/museums/exhibits, games and sharing experiences) should actually be extended to whatever we want them to be used in, always reminding the 3 key points of a NUI experience: Enjoyable, appropriate to context and leading to skilled practice.
Daniel shared also our fear that such a new paradigm may lead to fragmentation in apps which may use different gestures and/or patterns to achieve equivalent tasks, as well as erroneous patterns may arise as standards. Different applications belong to different ecosystems/context, however, but we all hope that some kind of standardization may come, as HTML5 is doing right now.
He finally hinted what would for him be a killer app type for a NUI: Something that facilitate your relation with people who is in front of you.
The book is a starting point, a declaration of insightful and useful principles to understand NUI, and open to growth and evolution.
The first half of it is where UX designers who want to create stablished NUIs (iOS/android/MS Surface) apps should study. It is full of key points to have always in mind in order to get the path to success.
The second half of the book is more OS engineer oriented, with useful structural guidelines for those who work in creating NUIs from scratch.
When thinking in NUI, the book suggests us to not limit our scope to tablet apps, but all the interfaces you may find in social places, in retail places, public spaces.
Always remember the 3 key points of a NUI experience: Enjoyable, appropriate to context and leading to skilled practice.
The biggest challenge for anyone who wants to dig into NUIs is understanding that you have to rethink the way we interact with a screen in order to understand the NUI paradigm, take advantage of its inner strengths, and create applications which are authentic to this new media.
In the research phase for a online magazine overhaul I am doing right now, I have just checked this site
. I enclose two images just to show how one of the oldest and ugliest HTML publishing side effects -proper text justification- may have seen its end.
As noted in their website,
"Hyphenator.js automatically hyphenates texts on websites if either the webdeveloper has included the script on the website or you use it as a bookmarklet on any site.
-Automatically breaks URLs on any browser that supports the zero width space.
-Runs on the client in order that the HTML source of the website may be served clean and svelte and that it can respond to text resizings by the user.
-Has a documented API and is highly configurable to meet your needs.
-Supports a wide range of languages. <- So important!
-Relies on Franklin M. Liangs hyphenation algorithm (PDF) commonly known from LaTeX and OpenOffice.
-Is free software licensed under LGPL v3 with additional permission to distribute non-source (e.g., minimized or compacted) forms of that code (see source code header for details).
-Provides services for customizing, merging and packing script and patterns."
It is although still a work in progress, for it will not perform several Desktop publishing traditionally does, as:
"-Give you control over how many hyphens you'll have as endings on consecutive lines.
-Eliminate misleading hyphenation like 'leg-ends' (depending on the pattern quality).
-Handle special (aka non-standard) hyphenation (e.g. omaatje->oma-tje)"
HTML hyphenation, in JS or CSS3
, can only mean another huge step -after CSS paragraph control and Typekit
style font embedding- in order to bring quality typography -alas better user experience- to the users eyes. What will come next?
Mobile internet usage is growing fast. (Graphic: Morgan Stanley)
Sam Woodman is a lead UX consultant at Adobe, and thanks to UXParis Linkedin Group
, he has made a remarkable speech before a packed audience at La Cantine
(Paris) about the changes in UX paradigm in Tablet devices.
Julien Hillon has published his resumé in french: http://julien-hillion.fr/nui-paradigm-shift-sam-woodman/
In January 2008, the Corporate Image Department of BBVA (second largest spanish bank) came to us with a special need: they wanted to set up a web showcase in which the bank employees could appreciate the importance of fine design into everyone's life.
The briefing was clear: Although this is a design site, it must tightly follow the bank's corporate image line, but it must also leave space for a designer and arty layout so the public can taste the feeling of aesthethics and quality.
Key User Experience Proposals for this project:
- - Give real estate to content, to visual content.
- - Tight adherence to BBVA brand standard, graphically and in copy and content proposal.
- - Quantitative (nr of votes) ranking, but also and more important, sociological rating, something that adds emotional attachment to tne site.
- - Simplicity of use, didactical content style, and estimation of a max of 20 minutes/visit.
It also had to provide a way so the employees could share and even propose new contents, the main idea was to involve them into the sensibility towards design.
The last briefing constraints were: "this is not Wired Magazine website", we must provide a taste of design for a target who is mainly not very sensible to it, so make it easy, and "we are not letting the users spend all day long in this site", so prioritize short videos and make content brief and fast to read...
I have aggregated my LinkedIn online CV, automatically updated from their website.
Hola. Aqui seguire posteando mis reflexiones a partir de ahora.
Hi. this is the place where we I will keep posting from now on.
El formato apaisado y la vuelta de los formatos 1024 han añadido un nuevo estándar a los layouts de interfaz de web.
Por un lado, la propia Apple ha dedicado sus esfuerzos a hacer parecer las versiones cloud de sus apps de correo o calendario gráficamente iguales que sus apps; Twitter o The New York Times han rediseñado sus webs imitando los elementos de interfaz (cuadros de diálogo, avisos, menus e iconos) similares a los del iOS... Estamos asistiendo a la "ipadización" de la web?
Es cierto que para los ejemplos citados, usar en web un diseño similar a la app de tablet ayudará sin duda a coordinar y uniformar las tareas de diseño visual y de interacción, ya que numerosas webs dan por descontado que duplicarán o triplicarán su presencia online en forma de app mobile.
Y no olvidemos la investigación que se está produciendo en los estudios gráficos y de UX para desarrollar la capacidad de estos modelos de interacción para comportamientos táctiles, como el no rollover, scroll, pulsaciones con dedos y no con ratón...
La próxima aparición de dispositivos tablet, tipo Samsung galaxy tab o playbook de blackberry no harán más que aumentar la cantidad de interfaces de navegación de este tipo.
Mashable dedica un artículo al tema
usando ejemplos y tendencias recientes.
Hace unos meses diseñamos un interfaz de edición de contenidos para una web de un fotografo, una persona muy ocupada, con necesidad de actualizar su portfolio frecuentemente y de manera autónoma, y que debía tener una premisa fundamental: que fuera sencillo y muy visual; así, lo que se nos ocurrió fue que el interfaz de administración fuera la propia página, en la que aparecían, al teclear directamente en el teclado una contraseña de administrador, una serie de gadgets de edición para que el fotógrafo pudiera, fácil y visualmente, modificar los contenidos de su portfolio.
, un CMS basado en AJAX que he descubierto ayer, representa la evolución lógica de esta idea de edición simple y visual, hasta tal punto que manejarlo es hasta divertido. A nivel técnico, el sistema está basado en cloud computing, y aunque no se da mucha información técnica, el sistema no está destinado, evidentemente, a sustituir un Drupal, Typo3 u otro CMS de alto nivel, sino a cubrir las necesidades de ese gran nicho de usuarios que demandan un sistema de gestión de su presencia web asequible (25$) y sobre todo, fácil de utilizar.
Os recomendamos visitar su demo
, que es impresionante, a nivel de diseño de interfaz e incluso gráficamente.