Concurrent usage

Designing for a single user at any one time has been a tenant of digital interface design since the first computing devices emerged. However, the proliferation of large touchscreen devices, has given rise to a new use case, where multiple users try to interact simultaneously with the same device. Almost as soon as the iPad arrived, users could be observed placing a device between them on coffee shop tables and sharing their digital experience. In Pathway #3, MEX looks at how user experience design changes when creating simultaneous multi-person user interfaces (SMUIs). Kate Ho of Interface3, who leads this Pathway at MEX, has recently launched an iPad game specifically designed to be played by 4 children simultaneously. Constantly rotating visual elements and ‘home zones’ in each corner of the screen are some of the techniques employed to achieve this. There’s a video here or it is in the App Store.

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