Pathway #9: Audible dimensionCategory
In this episode we look at multi-sensory design, exploring how digital experiences can be extended beyond visual interfaces into hearing, touch, taste and even smell.
On this edition
- Marek Pawlowski, co-host & founder of MEX (@marekpawlowski)
- Peter Law, Creative Producer, Flying Object (@peterjlaw)
- Co-host Alex Guest returns in the next edition
News from the MEX community
- Lennart Andersson, Director of Interaction Design at Veryday – who spoke at MEX/13 about experience co-c…
Paul Bennun and Nicky Birch came to MEX in March 2013 to share their insight into building audio experiences for mobile devices. They discuss lessons learned creating Papa Sangre, a game with no visual elements, but where the user explores a 3D world through the medium of sound.
Recorded at MEX, March 2013 (pmn.co.uk/mex/)
Can technology draw us closer to our physical environment? The rollout of ‘tap to pay’, the growth of beacons and embedded digital intelligence (IoT) challenges everyone, from automotive manufacturers to retailers, to consider the user experience of interacting with smart physical objects.
One of the design challenges at MEX/15, facilitated by Alex Guest, asked a team to investigate and define the principles of proximity interactions. The challenge was deliberately broad, but grounded in …
The Apple Watch occupied about 20 times more floorspace than the new MacBook when I visited the company’s Regent Street store in April 2015. The Watch’s display units stretch the full width of the store and are the first things a customer sees upon entering. The MacBook, in contrast, is tucked away at the back on a single table with about 8 demonstration units. Is this a reflection of the superior margins commanded by the Watch or rather an implicit acknowledgement this new product category r…
My irrational desire for the 2014 Moto X had a more rational outcome: I acquired a 2013 Moto X.
I’ve always felt the defining feature of the Moto X was the Moto Maker service. Motorola remains unique in the mobile industry in allowing customers to express their individuality by customising the product at the point of manufacture. This is a vision of personalised mobile user experience I’ve longed to see fulfilled since I first became involved in mobile 20 years ago. Indeed, we have …
“Okay Google Now,” I whispered. Nothing. The device stayed silent.
I looked up the street to check whether I was still out of earshot of the lady and child I’d noticed earlier. “Okay Google Now,” I tried again, a little louder, but acutely aware how odd I’d look if they overheard me. I’d slowed my pace slightly to avoid catching up with them. At the back of my mind I wondered if someone was watching from a window of the nearby houses, bemused by my attempts to converse with the cloud.
“Love it!” He said it emphatically, telling me he’d been twelve years in the job and still every day was different. “I get to see a lot of Norfolk.”
I asked him which piece of technology he’d never give up, pointing to a dashboard which played host to a TomTom GPS, a three year old, battered Android smartphone and an ageing Nokia candy bar. He didn’t hesitate: “GPS. That’s mine that is, bought it myself.”
Change, however, was coming. “They’re giving us all one thing. It’ll do the…
Strip away the hype from Apple’s September 2014 product announcements and you’re left with 4 new interactions which might change digital user experience at scale:
- Magnified depth
- Pressure levels
- Haptic feedback
- Activated confirmation
Their ramifications will ripple out beyond Apple’s own customer base as competitors replicate these methods.
Historically, Apple has used the introduction of new interaction methods to initiate new product categories: the Mac and the mouse, the iPo…
“You can hear the faintest murmur of wheel bearings and axles whirr, of suspension heaving, of wind rustling, of tyres swishing – first with slush under the wheels and then later you can hear that it’s just water. Occasionally you can hear the wipers quietly ‘wup’, and the indicators softly ‘plick-plick’. You can hear the motor ‘mew’ gently or slightly less gently. You can hear the car working in high-fidelity – but always quietly. And you can hear other traffic, as if instead of being part…
Cross-modal input thrives when discrete and continuous modes are paired. For instance, precise touchscreen input and the analogue feel of accelerometer-controlled tilt motion. Some pairings are more obvious than others – focus on what seems natural in context. “Don’t do it just because you can.” – Ken Willes, Director of Creative Services, Ideum, speaking at MEX14
Not all user experience problems can be solved through visual changes – sometimes it pays to think how extra sensory channe…