Predictive User InterfacesIn the struggle to make user interfaces more user friendly we are coming currently to a point, where the normal programming algorithms needs to altered to be more "human" in terms of "what does the user want in his context?". From my oppinion the next big thing to meet the expectation of users. A prerequisite for this is a well designed state-of-the-art user interface, of course. When everything is in its place, its time to think about optimizing the processes in the software. The result needs to be very unobtrusive, cause the software cannot meet all expectations and needs the users may have. Worked out as a help to show possible ways and solutions to come to a maybe identified goal, could be a solution to lift the user experience to a new level. This is nothing new, of course. Even the concept of "Assistants" was driven by the wish to sort out, whats the user wants, or - better - lead the user to the goal the software was build for :-). My plead to all the user interface designers out there: Think about not obstrusive ways to lead users to the things they may want to obtain and PLEASE tell me about YOUR ideas and observations regarding those ideas. I promise to do the same.
Ruggedized iPhonesOne more thought about Apple. This time design: The Apple hardware design is great. No question. Ivy is a great designer and I know not one other company, which has a such a strong design view for the big consumer market. But what i really do not understand is, that the iPhone design fails in terms of being hard enough for real life. Nearly everyone i know puts his precious little highend device into folders or cases to protect it. A good smartphone design from the industrial designers perspective should be at first really tough and hard to break. I mean okay: the iPhone is pretty tough and takes some hits without complaining, but this is not what i mean. Smartphones are devices for outdoor, travelling, throwing on desks and falling out of jackets. From my point of view, here is one thing, where the Apple Design has failed (but of course: really good looking).
Better prizingAs some may know, i am an Apple user since 2007. Before that I was completely one of the Windows-PC guys. I was even the first employee at Gingco back in 1998 who wants to work on a Windows PC. I often thought, why I did switch and I think I finally found it: Besides the good design, user experience and all that stuff, it is just the fact, that it is more satisfying to buy an apple product. First, you spent more money for a more valent product, which is in fact okay. But more: The needed software (which is in fact nothing to hold in hand, but an inmaterial product) is much cheaper than the competition. So it is easier to keep on the newest software and the feeling of making a good decision is there. Perhaps it is really as simple as that.
3D without glassesI am personally not a big fan of all that 3D hype, thats goes around in the past years. Maybe I am too old, cause there were several "3D hypes" in the last 25 years. Finally it seems that 3D goes mainstream these days, but i will not take part on this "glasses thing". To be honest, i dont like that the picture on the screen gets darker and looses colors. The 3D effect maybe good, but I am still not able to focus the things on the screen that I want and that is very irritating. Anyway a few years ago a project made by Johnny Chung Lee with the Wii Remote captures my attention, which uses a tracking, to calculate the perspective on the screen to provide a 3D effect: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd3-eiid-Uw Today i found a project on the iPad which is inspired by Johnny Chung Lee's Idea: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBQQEcfkHoE It uses the iPad camera to track the head of the user and calculates the geometry in realtime. This will not work on movies, but only on computer generated content (e.g. in games), but the effect is great even when watching the 2D-Youtube-Video. No glasses needed.
An interesting trend in operating systems
As i read an artice about the IFA 2010 in a computer magazine this morning, i recognized an interesting trend: With the further development of touch-based tablet-PCs (together with the still ongoing iPad-hype), there are not only more and more
phone-based operating-systems in the wild, but also these pads are getting better reviews, then those based for example on Windows-OS (regarding several tests in the C'T Magazine). Looking on this trends, you can easily spot out why this trend will go on further. Mostly, people don´t want to bother around with Windows (or MacOS) installation-CDs, anti-virus-software, installing of different programs or fighting with graphic- or network-drivers. They just want a computer to mail, surf, play, write, organize their photos or videos and perhaps using their favourite social-services like facebook.
This tasks you can do a lot more easier and even better with OS like iOS, Android, WebOS and perhaps Windows Phone 7 or the coming Google Chrome OS. Regarding to this, on my oppinion, the classic operating systems as we use them today, will be mostly used in workstations, for developing or in business. For private use, classic-PCs or notebooks will loose a lot market-share in the next years (as they do right now). Cause of the ease in using, this trend is great. Even people who are maybe anxious these days, discover the simplicity and ease in using (tablet-)PCs based on
phone-OS and discover the possibilities of the internet and new media. This is another evidence, that
keep it simple is one key for good design :-).
High Res DisplaysThe next big thing: Higher resolution-computer displays. This time the mobile devices are first .. look at iPhone 4 or the new Samsung Android. We are talking about resolutions more than 300dpi ... as much as books have. Imagine the possibilities, if your monitor or iPad has a 300dpi display. Imagine 300dpi videos. It will be a huge step for the operating systems and i think, that Apple is allready working on it, when i look at the 27" iMac. Very much of MacOSX is prepared for a resolution independent GUI, which is the core-element in high res display. Is Windows prepared, when the first 24" monitors with 4K (4096 x 3072px) come to market? Can't wait to get a high res iPad ;-)
Webm will be a new standard
I made a little video test for myself to test the capabilities of the now open sourced VP8 codec. It`s really a great and very fast codec which should get very interesting against flash with the upcoming HTML5 format (and if it gets the support in new smartphones via hardware accelaration). With my demo-page to take a sneak a be sure to visit the Youtube link at the button :-) I will make some more experiments with HD-Video soon a will tell you the results. Attention: You need a new HTML5 supporting browser for this! Click here.
Tipp: CT Magazine 9/2010In the actual issue of the leading german computer magazine C'T is an article written by Herbert Braun and me about webtypography. It contains a lot of tipps about for example using the right types, proportions and formatting texts. The 5 page article also deals with the problem of using individual fonts on webpages and discusses the different solutions (SiFR, Cufon) up to CSS3 @font-face. If your working in webdesign it maybe usefull for you ;-).
I love this video. Everytime i find it again in my links i am fascinated. It is a few years old, but the topic is actual for hundreds of years. It shows in such an easy way, what a video can visualize in only a few minutes. In this case: A lot of typographic rules and what they are for. If you ever asked, what typography is and what are the most important attributes in it, watch it. You need Quicktime to view it:
Never underestimate the power of the web!As i like to hear british radio here in germany, i recognized that there is only one news since yesterday: The british top 100 is leaded by a protest song from the nineties: "Killing in the name of" by "Rage Against The Machine". A few facebook-users called for help to set against the british show "The X-Factor" (something like our "Deutschland sucht den Superstar" here in germany) which provides the Top 100 christmas-hit for maybe the last 4 years. And they did it: more than half a million sold copies of the old hit helped to get the x-rated rocksong to be number 1 for christmas in Great Britain. I mean: wow! What a success! Can there be a better prove for the social power of the web? I take this personally, cause i really like the song ... its really powerfull ;-) We used to cover it in 1994 with our band "Its The Mind" on several gigs. Its one of the songs you can really get loud with.
iPhone optimized backendsYou know the problem: You never have the possibility to write the things you like to write about, when you got the time to write it. Tricky, uh?! OF COURSE its no fun to write on the mini-keyboard of an iPhone or any other smartphone, but if your waiting for the train or the doc or the man who changes your tires ... time & fun is relative. Therefore i programmed a little webpage to write this blog from anywhere, where my iPhone works. I found a quite nice little framework made of HTML, CSS and JS which emulates the iPhone UI in a fascinating manner, so i can even write this blog with iPhone look and feel (gorgeous!)! Check it out:http://www.jqtouch.com/.
The "Social Web" is currently used to describe how people interact with each other throughout the World Wide Web. You can find out more about me, if you check the different services i use.
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