In March of 2011, I joined HP to lead the User Experience and Front-End Development organization for Consumer Travel. My goal? To design products that transform the future of travel. At the time, eleven UX professionals had already been working on the design for one of our travel applications for several months. Unfortunately, I had to throw the entire design away and start from scratch. Why? In addition to other challenges, the team could not articulate an interaction model. Read More
This is an sample chapter from Josh Clark’s book Designing for Touch. 2015, A Book Apart.
Chapter 4: Gestures
Hands are wonderfully expressive. We talk with our hands all the time: they ask questions, show intent, command attention, reveal emotion. A backhanded wave dismisses an idea; a jab of the finger accuses; a thumbs-up enthuses. If hands are excellent at communicating with people, they’re even more effective at communicating with objects. From the delicate operation of tying a shoelace to the blunt-force strength of opening a pickle jar, our hands and fingers constantly improvise in grip, pressure, position, and sensitivity.
How can we bring similar expression to manipulating digital information? Touchscreens put data literally in the user’s hands, and it’s the designer’s job to enable and interpret that interaction. Unfortunately, while our hands have a robust vocabulary for speaking to people and objects, we’re still in the grammar-school stages of a gestural language for touchscreens. A richer lexicon lies ahead, but it will take time for a more sophisticated range of touchscreen gestures to become common knowledge. Read More
Links are one of the most foundational elements of connected digital technology. They long predate the Web and form the backbone of the whole concept of hypermedia.
Early on during the Web explosion, as everyone began making Web sites for their favorite hobby, then for their company, they simply sprinkled links across the landscape so people could learn more about a topic by following a link to a source document or just another Web site.
For a while, there were Webrings to bring related content together. Later, we saw link clouds. But somehow, we all settled on layers, layering top and side navigation bars on pages. We began to divorce the clicks from the content and developed the concepts of navigation and wayfinding.
But I’ve come to realize that there was a key nugget of truth in that first, most basic use of the link. Hypermedia means not just simply linking two things together, but giving the user an easy way to get more information about almost anything, with one click or tap. Read More