Archive for the 'UI Technologies' Category

ZaraJustified West

Zara Evens, Senior Designer at Punchcut, will present “Glance, Scan, Read: Typography for Mobile User Interfaces” at Justified West in Vancouver, BC.

Designing for mobile devices introduces new challenges: screen size, device performance and most critically, the unique contexts of mobile use, glancing, scanning and reading. Zara Evens, Senior Designer at Punchcut, will elucidate design criteria related to the ways users consume, communicate and share information on the go. Continue Reading »

Jared Benson

Idle Bites: 10 March 2009

In case you’ve not had time to follow the backchannel chatter, we’ve gathered some of the mobile user experience articles from the last few days that caught our eye. Here’s some quick recommending reading that describes our changing digital lifestyles, mobile trends, future tech considerations, and there’s even a good robot story thrown in for good measure.

If you’ve come across a great mobile user experience story in the last few days, let us know! Post it in comments or find me on Twitter:


MWC’09 Trends by John Strand

Vision Mobile’s Mobile Megatrends 2009

Design Exploration

New Tab Page: Proposed design principles and prototype (Mozilla Labs)

iPhone prototype caught on video


The future of TV lies on the net

Digital Media newsletter (PDF)

Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) is coming, cable companies better adopt to changing times


Mobile TV Popular In Korea, Not Making Any Money

Emerging Technology

Charging mobile devices wirelessly: eZone by Qualcomm

Wintek to supply touch panels for Apple netbook, says paper

Philips: OLED windows in a few years

Japanese gadget controls iPod in blink of an eye

Robot Programmed to Love Goes too Far

Experimental Multitouch UI for Nokia S60

Social Networking

Social Networking More Popular Than Email, More Profitable Than…Er…Um

When Everyone’s a Friend, Is Anything Private?

General News

Internet, Mobile Phones Named Most Important Inventions

Chinese political advisor urges innovation to tackle downturn, emphasis on creative

Charlie Rose: A conversation with Marissa Mayer, V.P. of Search Product and User Experience, Google

Recession Forcing Automakers To Think About Mobile

Why we’ve reached the end of the camera megapixel race

Crowdsourcing: Using Mobile Data for Real-Time Traffic Reports

Ever noticed that so-called ‘real-time traffic’ sometimes isn’t? Wondering if there is a better way to use traffic data to get to your destination efficiently? The Mobile Millennium project aims to solve these problems, at least for the San Francisco Bay Area. The project is the result of a collaboration between Nokia, NAVTEQ, and UC Berkeley. Put simply, Mobile Millennium uses mobile phone location and speed data from thousands of participating users to deduce traffic levels for Bay Area roadways.

Mobile Millennium represents a handy and appropriate use of ‘Crowdsourcing‘. It demonstrates how mobile devices can send useful data back into the cloud, not just communicating through it.  The fact that users can benefit directly from their own collaboration creates a strong incentive to participate, which should make it easier to distribute the technology among the local population.

Continue Reading »

Joe Pemberton

Twitter Etiquette:
Avoiding Twitter Abuse

Twitter is popular because it’s insanely simple — which means it’s easy to abuse. Here’s some etiquette that will make Twitter a less noisy, more relevant way to connect.

Five Guidelines for Twitter Etiquette

1// Replying is fine. In fact it’s an interesting way to discover people and ideas. Just remember your followers are only listening to half of your conversation. Fill your followers in on the topic at least. For example “@joetheplumber Haha, my cat does the same thing” is more usable information than just “@joetheplumber ha ha“.

People don’t follow everyone you’re talking to, so if you reply to someone in public, give everybody else some context. If it truly is worthy of a live reply, chances are your followers will want to see who you’re talking to. For more on relevant replies, see #2.

2// Twitter isn’t chat! I didn’t follow you so I could listen to you have a back and forth conversation with someone I don’t know. I followed you because you have interesting updates and bits to share. Learn the value of the direct message, d instead of the reply @. This especially applies to corporate Twitter accounts. The most common mistake is broadcasting the same announcement as a reply to individual users, seemingly forgetting that everybody else is seeing their redundancy.

3// Don’t hog the screen space. When you tweet every 3 to 5 minutes you selfishly fill up your follower’s Twitter window, burying their other friends’ messages. Uncool. (This is the reason I don’t follow Robert Scoble @scobleizer anymore. His tech geek powers were overcome by his Monterey weather updates.)

4// Finally, filter yourself. Leave the text unsent for a second. If it still sounds clever, witty or smart it’s probably good enough for your public time line.

5// Saying “good night Twitter” at the end of your day is kind of cute, but it’s mostly just sad. Sad and weird.

A few Twitter resources: For help with managing Twitter followers, try FriendOrFollow. For a great desktop Twitter client, check out TweetDeck.

You can follow @joepemberton on Twitter.

Molly Davis

Idle Bites // July 25th, 2008

Editor’s note: Each week someone will run us through the noteworthy headlines in mobile and convergent device user experience. This week: Molly Davis, Project Manager, Punchcut.

// Nokia and Qualcomm take off the boxing gloves, decide to get nails done together instead

After three years of legal battles over wireless patents, Nokia and Qualcomm settled their differences this week and entered into a 15 year agreement. The exact details of the deal were not released, but “Nokia has been granted a licence under all Qualcomm’s patents for its mobile phones and network equipment. It has agreed not to use any of its patents directly against Qualcomm, allowing Qualcomm to integrate Nokia’s technology into Qualcomm’s chipsets.”

// Open Source Speculation: SymbiAndroid

Analyst Jack Gold shook his magic eight ball this week and predicted that within three to six months the newly open source Symbian OS should combine with the Open Handset Alliance’s Android. Parties on both sides yawned, dismissed the idea as a farfetched rumor and went on with their business.

// Get into the Qik beta, quick!

Qik, the software that allows you to stream video live from your mobile device and is then captured on the web, is now in open Beta. Here is the list of supported devices. We’ve had a sneak preview of Qik working on an iPhone, and can’t wait to see that go live.

// Bipartisan Bill to Freeze Wireless Taxes

Senators Wyden (D) and Snowe (R) introduced a bill to freeze current wireless taxes and prevent new increases for the next 5 years. Though this bill is not the first of its kind, it enjoys support from both sides of the aisle, and cellular industry support. “The average wireless consumer in the U.S. today pays more than 15% of his or her monthly bill in taxes and fees — more than twice the rate imposed on other competitive goods and services subject to sales tax. This is an indefensible level of taxation for most any product, let alone one that allows millions of Americans to constantly stay connected with the world around them,” said Steve Largent, president of CTIA.

// apple + c, apple + v spotted in iPhone 2.1 code
An observant developer stumbled across references to copy and paste functionality in the “localizable.strings” file in Apple’s first beta of iPhone Software 2.1 this week. One of the most requested features on the iPhone may be available around September via your iTunes.

Nokia to Make Symbian Open Source

Nokia Pushes Symbian OS into the Ring with Google’s Android

Symbian LogoThe Financial Times is reporting that Nokia will buy the rest of Symbian and unveiled its plans to make the smartphone OS open source in 2009, under a newly formed Symbian Foundation. Nokia’s move counters the Google-led Open Handset Alliance and its Android platform.  

From the article: “The world’s largest handset maker announced it was taking control of Symbian, the UK software company responsible for the most popular operating system on smartphones.

“Nokia will contribute the computer code behind Symbian’s operating system to a new non-profit organisation to be called the Symbian Foundation. The foundation will make the code available for free to software developers, in a move aimed at spurring innovation in the mobile internet.

Joe Pemberton

User Experience Critique: HTC Touch Diamond

HTC Touch Diamond: Your Windows Mobile is Showing

In March I posted HTC’s beautiful promotional video of the Touch Diamond UI. Now that the device is commercially available (in the UK for now) we can see the interface design in action. In a fairly in-depth video the mobile bloggers at run the UI through its paces.

The UI belies the Windows Mobile 6.1 OS underneath — it is nowhere apparent in HTC’s official video. But the problem isn’t necessarily Windows Mobile as the HTC UI does a great job at hiding it. The problem is the gaps they left in the Touch Diamond UI that let the Windows Mobile core UI poke through. The result is a disjointed experience as the user bounces between what seems like a solid, gestural and accelerometer-enabled touch experience and back to the basic and ugly Windows Mobile UI. As you can see from the video, there are clearly breakdowns in the experience where the new HTC UI behaves differently from the Windows Mobile underneath.

This is a case study of the fragmentation in the go-to-market (commercialization) process. The device manufacturers, the carriers and the operating systems come from different places with different motivations and business models. The parties involved are never fully able (despite what seems to be a really fantastic effort from HTC) to make that industry fragmentation invisible to users.

The video illustrates some of the noteworthy gaps in the user experience. Play by play after the bump…

Continue Reading »

Joe Pemberton

Adobe Open Screen Project

Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch - Idlemode

Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch discusses the Open Screen initiative and explains the reason for the discontinued licensing requirements for using SWFs in the mobile platform. Also of great interest to those reading between the lines, Kevin describes the AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime) initiatives with the phrase “desktop and devices”. We’ve been left to speculate about “AIR Lite” since none of our contacts at Adobe will spill any details. In essence though though an AIR Lite offering would allow Flash apps to run on mobile devices outside of a browser.

Qualcomm Adobe BREW FlashBREW 2008, SAN DIEGO -  Adobe and Qualcomm announced Flash would be fully integrated into the BREW Mobile Platform. The news was the latest in a string of great announcements about the platform that are taking the BREW and the Flash Lite communities by surprise. Last week’s announcement came on the heels of some great developments on the Flash front with Sony Ericsson announcing all its future handsets will be Flash enabled and with Adobe’s announcement that licensing the Flash player will be free (meaning other handset makers are likely to follow).

Qualcomm and Adobe are partnering to create, or rather revamp, Qualcomm’s BREW Mobile Platform. For an Adobe perspective Read Bill Perry’s overview on his FlashDevices blog. Technically, BREW already was a mobile platform to begin with, but in the wake of the iPhone and possible Android disruptions, it’s not surprising this has been in the works. These companies are looking for partners to create platforms and alliances to ensure their competitive edge. Could this mean that we will see AIR mobile (Adobe Integrated Runtime) soon? And if so, will it cooperate with this new BREW Mobile Platform?

The Adobe Flash Lite player has been available as a BREW application (BREW engineers call it an extension) for almost 2 years — but in its current state, it allows Flash Lite applications to run only as siloed downloads (for games, screen savers, visual ringtones, etc.). There was no good way to use Flash Lite for anything other than tiny apps, unless you had the full support of Adobe in helping you write a custom player for your platform of choice. In addition, it was clear Adobe did not have plans to port Flash Lite 3 to the BREW platform as a BREW app.

Fast forward to now… Continue Reading »

Joe Pemberton

HTC Touch Diamond Interface

HTC has released a promotional video of the new HTC Touch Diamond user interface. The device boasts touch input and an accelerometer with HTC’s TouchFlo 3D rendering. The Windows Mobile 6 device will hit shelves any week now in the UK. The product is slated for the US later this year.

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