In Your Face Interface

18.09.2012
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Jakob Normand

UX – USER EXPERIENCE

Apple has recently won a court case against Samsung in California for breach of copyright. Not because Samsung copied Apple’s product design or telecommunications software.The court case was about user experience – UX. Simple things like how one opens a mobile phone or what an icon looks like. The result of the court case was that Samsung have to compensate Apple for a consider amount measured in 100’s of millions of dollars. On top of that, are certain Samsung products banned from the American market.UX design has become so important that a company’s trade and markets can be influenced dramatically for huge sums.

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UX design is about how easy or not it is for a user to 
understand your product. The success of any product today is hinged on how user-friendly it is. In this issue of DNLab, we look at what makes great design even better – user friendliness and design interface.

 

MAKING A COMPLEX WORLD SIMPLER

4088_side with charger_WHITE_HI ResAll users have the same problem. How do you understand and use products and services which embody increasing amounts technology and complexities. The companies who can solve that challenge will strengthen their market position considerably. The converse is true also. It isn’t any secret that it’s the fewest people that can be bothered to read an instruction manual. And it shouldn’t be necessary. Normal everyday use of your products shouldn’t demand training or reading a masters degree – no matter what market you are in. 

 

RTX developed their new Skype phone 4088 on the
premise that it should be used with no instructional
manual at all and no complex installation. 
In fact no installation. Just switch on and use.

 

MAKING A SIMPLE WORLD COMPLEX

switchWeak interface can obviously be humorous – but it costs jobs and destroys company growth. Illustrated here are two examples of interface in service design and product design making their message almost impossible to understand.

 

INDUSTRIAL UX IS FAR BEHIND

 

IMG_0779DN has developed the control panel on GMV’s window robot in at that ensured the operator learns how to use the machine intuitively and quickly and that there are very few mistakes in operation.
When the quality of the working environment and safety at work are so much in focus, it is remarkable that there is such a gap between consumer interface and systems you meet in industry. User friendliness is really universal and the same factors that make a washing machine easy to use are still applicable for a fork-lift truck.
The daily user of your product more than often doesn’t
have an engineering background but nevertheless our
universal experiences can be used to make a complex
product understandable. Make the product obvious to use and easy for the user to understand.
That gives you a lead in front of your competitors and it shows your target group that you appreciate their needs. A really cool smart phone isn’t so damned smart if you can’t see how to use it, and a new car isn’t a hit if the speedometer is awkward to read and the fuel cap won’t open. The same applies to the working environment. Do you really know all the functions of your 3-in-1 printer? And are you really sure that your customers understand you own products?

 

THE SOUND OF QUALITY

 

“Research has shown that to a large extent, we buy with our ears.” says Doctor of Philosphy Hjarne Fessel of Copenhagen. “The classic example is that we take the sound of a car door closing as an expression of not only the quality of the door but the quality of the Untitled-1whole car.
Using time on getting the sound of a car door just right, isn’t the obsession of crazed car engineer, it’s the result of pure commercial interests. Up to 75% of the emotional and 25% of the informative impression of a product is determined by
its sound.” And from the blogger site “Behind the Camera” “and then I just don’t like the sound of it.
Yeah its daft but it sounds more like “clack-clack” instead of the 1D’s “slamslam” or the bigger Nikons, which in my opinion also sound awesome.
Of course it isn’t that aspect that is decisive in a camera – and in fact the sound should be irrelevant – buuut on the other hand…”

 

 

 

 

 

3 SENSES AT WORK – EVERY TIME

 

If you want the optimal performance out of your UX then you should use at least 2 senses and preferably 3 senses simultaneously. Have you considered that in an elevator, you touch the button and feel it move, and then the button lights up and at the same time there is a sound indication. And look at your smart phone. There is a tactile signal, a sound signal and a visual interface at every touch. When it rings you get sound, light and often vibration signals The fantastic thing about interface is also that with a few changes you can create remarkable improvements.
A different sound, a better graphic display, a more logical menu structure and similar initiatives can give you savings and ease the R&D budget. But these things can also mean
considerable improvements for those who use your
product.

Rejsekort checkin

DN has supported the Danish digital ticketing
system called Rejsekort to create sound and
icon interface solutions for the nationwide network
of train destinations. So listen and learn
the next time you get on a train in Denmark.

 

 

KEEP IN TOUCH

Imagine a touch screen where you can feel and sense the response of the icons and buttons. It sounds improbable but the technology is already here. At Japan’s KDDI they have developed a technique where, by using haptic vibrations, you get a feeling that you are moving something on the touch screen.
Japan’s Kyocera company has also demonstrated what
they call a “New Sensation Touch Panel” at the Createc
Exhibition in Japan. The touch sensitive screen can imitate physical buttons by giving the feeling of having pressed a button. It is possible by using a piezoelectric layer between the LCD panel and the touch panel.
For years computer games have used physical feed-back to the user from the computer.
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What happens when the porn industry gets these touch sensitive computer tools into mass production, is left open to the reader’s own imagination