Begin typing your search above and press return to search. Press Esc to cancel.

MWC 2012

Category

Gestures in a mobile context

Read more

Gestures in a mobile context

The amount of transposition required to convert users’ physical actions into digital form has ebbed and flowed over the years.

Command line interfaces were direct: pressing a single key produced the corresponding character on-screen.

The introduction of the mouse resulted in a more abstract relationship: small hand movements and finger clicks, performed some distance from the screen, were translated into graphical sequences.

Currently the growth of touch is making interaction tangi…

0
Searching for new UI metaphors

Read more

Searching for new UI metaphors

There were few visual interface developments which stood out at Mobile World Congress, not least because the small application developers at the forefront of UI experimentation were noticeably absent. This may be due in part to the increased cost of travelling to Barcelona and participating in the congress, but I suspect the main reason is the other attendees no longer represent an app developer’s market.

A few years ago, small app developers would court network operators and handset manu…

1
Mobile creativity unleashed

Read more

Mobile creativity unleashed

Nokia’s PureView 808 in red polycarbonate is a stunningly bold visual statement. The intensity of the colour combines with a bulging, muscular form that is the antithesis of today’s generic slim slates. I cannot stress this enough: it is red in the loudest sense of the word. There will also be white and black varieties, but Nokia’s decision to offer such vibrant colouring should be applauded for experimentation and commitment to variety. Some users will hate it, but I suspect more wil…

3

Prioritising relative speed

YOUi Labs‘ CEO Jason Flick was clear about his priority when we met at Mobile World Congress: speed. His company provides a cross-platform layer which enables designers to build interfaces in Adobe After Effects, transpose them with a minimal amount of re-tooling and deploy to a range of digital touchpoints. This is, of course, by no means unique – the market is already crowded with products targeting a similar goal – but it is Flick’s relentless focus on speed which caught my attention.

0

Sound experiences outside the visual canvas

The brain has a remarkable ability to perceive the location of a sound source. If an object bangs on the floor behind you, your brain uses its understanding of acoustics to translate the sound waves into a clear image of where that incident occurred.

Sound is also an ‘always on’ sense, waking us at night if we hear something unexpected. It is an instinct hard coded into human biology and goes some way towards explaining why most people find sound to be a highly emotional sense. Sound is…

1
Maps appropriate to context

Read more

Maps appropriate to context

The digital maps found on today’s mobile devices derive from cartographic techniques hundreds of years old. User context, however, has changed. The situations in which users find themselves accessing maps on a mobile device are very different from spreading a paper map on a table.

The HaptiMap project is an EU-funded effort to develop digital mapping enhanced with an integrated approach to haptics, audio and visual feedback and more appropriate to mobile user context.

To focus the…

0
Refining through multi-layered user research

Read more

Refining through multi-layered user research

Emporia’s approach to user-centred design is multi-layered. Albert Fellner, founder, began by providing mobile devices accessible to the elderly and others excluded by the technological complexity. Starting with a strong personal motivation provides an advantage but also a danger: how do you ensure, as the company grows, it remains open to truly user-centred innovation, not just the vision of the founder?

The diversity of customer segments Emporia now targets is testament to the brea…

1
User environment driving technology

Read more

User environment driving technology

Sierra Wireless’ new USB cellular modems show how user-centred design can help differentiate products in a commoditised market. Matt Plested of Alloy, the agency which helped Sierra design the products, explained how they explored user environments for USB modems to better understand customer needs.

Alloy found the availability of space around the modem was a major cause of user frustration. For instance, when sitting next to someone on a train, the modem would protrude horizontally from…

1
Displaying visual quiet

Read more

Displaying visual quiet

How will our relationship with digital displays change when they can show a fixed image almost indefinitely in low power mode and survive autonomously for weeks at a time in the mobile environment without charging?

Displays are currently the largest consumers of power in a mobile device. As a result, their mode of operation is sporadic: they flash on to notify users of an event and then blink off into darkness just as suddenly. This creates a usage pattern built around demands on user at…

1

Subtle interaction and sensory engagement

Digital technology rarely inspires emotion. It can be an effective conduit for emotion: transmitting a message to a loved one, for instance, or sharing the first picture of a new family member. However, the medium itself rarely evokes emotion in users.

One of the reasons for this is that most digital interactions are heavily biased towards our visual sense and our eyes are much less likely to move us to emotional engagement than our ears, our finger tips or even our taste buds.

Immers…

0