Posts Tagged ‘touch screen’

Testing the Iphone

November 23, 2008

If you have read any of my previous posts you will know that for the last few weeks we have been doing a project based around elderly people living in nursing homes, with the main aim to improve their everyday experiences. The project is part of our GUI (graphical user interface) module, so the product or service that we implement will have a GUI. While we were doing our initial user testing on friday we decided to test the iphone on an elderly person,as touch screens can be very powerful when it come to designing a GUI. We wanted to see how they would react to it, and if they could physically use it. Our findings were……




  • She understood the sliding mechanism to flick through the pictures-It was intuitive.
  • She could slide to unlock the  phone with the sliding mechanism, was a little small though for her
  • She enjoyed flicking through the pictures using the sliding mechanism.
  • she found it hard to use the icons because she was pressing them like a button, but wasn’t getting feedback, so she wasn’t taking her finger of the screen, so therefor it wasn’t opening the application, it needs to instantly open when she touches it.
  • She understood the photo symbol and calculator symbol on the dashboard and managed to use them
  • she commented about the calculator “I used to have one of these for when i went shopping, to calculate the prices” (so it was familiar to her even though it was in a new context)
  • She was a little heavy handed, everything just needed to be a bit bigger and give more responsive feedback so she new she was doing it correctly.
  • She was curious about the ‘home’ button, and could use it fine!

All in all it was very positive,i think elderly people could use a touch screen, if the GUI was simle enough and had familiar contexts to what they are used to. A key factor is that they need to gain that feedback to know they are doing something as they don’t have the feeling you get when using a physical button.

Tap is the New Click

October 20, 2008

Last Wednesday we were lucky enough to have Dan Saffer giving us a lecture on Interactive Gestures. I’m sure most of you already know but if not Interactive gestures are what happens when you use products like the iphone, Nintendo Wii, touch screen interfaces and the Dyson “air blade” hand dryers. Interactive gesture s are normally implemented by using sensors.

During the lecture Dan gave an over view of a number of areas, including the history of  interactive gestures,prototyping them, communicating them, different types of interactive gestures and how to apply and implement them in meaningful ways. One area i found particularly interesting that he discussed was designing for the human body, this is extremely important when it comes to using sensors within experiences, areas such as physiology must be considered. When designing interactive gestures a lot of the user involvement and experience requires and comes from using your hands, therefor it is critical that a number of factors are taken into consideration some are a little more obvious than others!

  • You must design for the size of the finger pad (10-14mm) as this does the majority of the work
  • Wrist support, especially if the interaction will require a longer period of time
  • Left handed-ness
  • Accessibility to touch point areas
  • People who may be wearing gloves
  • women with fake nails!
  • finger prints and oil
  • inaccuracy (when using hands)

These were just a few points mentioned…..some are very small, but i feel very important factors that come into play when designing an interactive touch screen experience. Just fascinating!

“the  complexity of the gestures should match the complexity of the task in hand” a brilliant quote!