Tuesday, 24 June 2008

TV Remote Control

Here's a common layout for a TV Remote:On the left, the Volume is vertical and the Channel is horizontal and the opposite is seen on the right.
Which one do you think is more intuitive? I have seen several examples of both.

This is a problem with the metaphors used and there's a clear conflict of mental concepts on the one on the right because of two things:
Previous and Next are usually connected to Left and Right.
Up and Down are not good metaphors for Previous and Next because Up means Above, which is connected to Next, but it could also mean Previous, due to the writing direction (left to right and top to bottom).

The Left layout is much more intuitive and it's not understandable why there are still manufacturers that ignore such basic mental concepts.

Monday, 23 June 2008

Two predictions

1 - In 4 years, most homes will have 5 or more devices connected to the domestic wireless network
2 - In 10 years, most devices that are not connected to a domestic network (and therefore, connected to the internet) will be considered obsolete.

What's my point? Under these circumstances, interaction cannot be based on keyboards and touch screen, because we would be flooded by these very quickly. Gesture-based, and physical widgets will probably be used a lot more, so we should think about these new paradigms.

Interactive art installations are a very quick way of testing natural interaction methods because people don't feel that they are being tested, thus, if they are not interested or if the interface is not transparent, they just quit trying to understand it.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Pressies - light buttons

The idea behind Pressies is simple: You press the rubber Hexagon and it switches colour.
It may switch between three or four colours and should be placed on a public wall in large groups, as seen on the second illustration.
It invites passers-by to communicate their emotions iconically or symbolically, forcing them to think outside of the box.
Option 1: It could be used to control a bigger display, such as the exterior illumination of a building.
Option 2: A group of Pressies could be connected to another group in another part of the world, so that if one person makes one symbol, the same symbol gets drawn in the other, in real-time. Communicating with someone else we don't know through such a narrow channel is fun and stimulates creativity.

Friday, 13 June 2008

More information on the speedometer

(image from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Speedometer.jpg)

A lot of times I'm driving on a street or on a highway and I notice that I don't really know the speed limit in that place. I have to wait until I see some sign with the information.

...but cars have been increasingly coming out equipped with GPS systems, so the car can "know" the actual speed limit!

Usually on speedometers, there are some red marks indicating the most common speed limits but it would be really helpful if it indicated the current maximum and minimum limits with red and green lights. The driver could know, with a glance at the speedometer, if he was driving at a legal speed.

What do you think?