This week, while traveling, I noticed my smartwatch wasn’t working right. So I launched the app to get it to reconnect, but it insisted on checking for updates. At a restaurant in the middle of nowhere, there wasn’t a strong enough Internet connection, so I got stuck without its working for a few hours. I couldn’t read news while I was waiting for the bill because my favorite news app doesn’t load stories until I launch it.
Later, I went for a trail run at a little park. The main screen of my fitness tracker is largely a map, but in this case. it was totally blank. It hadn’t synced or saved a map while it still had coverage, so when I needed the app, it just complained about there being no coverage at that time. Read More
While I’ve discovered many things in the last few years about how users work with touchscreen devices, the one thing I’m really sure about is how much we do not understand. Touch devices are still fairly new. We’re still developing patterns for interactions and are just now beginning to understand how users understand and employ their touchscreen devices.
Since my first research into how users really hold and touch their phones came out over a year and a half ago, I’ve continued to build on my early research and explore the human side of mobile touch interactions. The next logical step was for me to attempt to actually understand users’ motivations and determine whether I can draw relationships between different types of actions or contexts and user interactions. Read More
Ever since I figured out that the design work that I do is really rooted in psychology and physiology, I’ve been fascinated by human behavior. A key facet of human behavior is the influence the environment has on people. While the term context is a good shorthand way of referring to this, it’s too often confused with a user’s physical location and activities. And way too often, people assume that a user’s context is simply sitting at a desk, looking at a computer.
Naturally, I disagree with that perspective on context. You might expect that’s because my work focuses on design for mobile devices, but there’s more to it than that. It’s not just because mobile phones open the whole world to computing, but because context—or environment—is a much broader thing. So imagine my excitement on reading this:
“The history of technology is part and parcel of social history in general. Technology cannot be studied in isolation.”—John Ellis Read More