Joe Macleod & Younghee Jung — Nokia Design Team, London
A though-provoking discussion on how interaction with handheld technology develops. Nokia seem to be doing some good research on user interfaces — shame that doesn’t seem to be transferring into the Series60 devices…
Exploring ‘natural’ gesture interactions
- Not really anything that replaces face to face communication yet
- Some gestures transfer across cultures well, e.g. fingers on lips: sshhh
- Some are complicated, e.g. transferring business cards
- v-sign doesn’t necessarily mean victory now
- in China, can count from 1 to 10 on one hand…
- in Ghana there’s a really sophisticated hand greeting ritual that includes clicking fingers together with the other person
- research exercise in Nokia to pull together existing gestures used in phones
- e.g. turn a phone over to silence a ring (Nokia 8800)
- what are natural gestures involving mobile phones?
- selected 11 different tasks, from checking time to sending something
- gave people blocks to play with (no buttons)
- sketched out what people came up with in four cities around the world
- e.g. silence gestures:
- stare at it
- put finger over the speaker
- had to fight with people to get them to think outside of pressing buttons
Understanding the factors that make gestures work
- 60 gestures as stimulus mapped to 15 tasks (4 each)
- 14 nationalities among participants
- video recorded each gesture to control how they were presented
- some issues were physical capability — can I do this? is it comfortable?
- “I don’t want to feel tired using my phone”
- “I don’t want to hit someone in a crowded place”
- “Might I damage my phone?”
- have loads of examples of bad gestures, e.g. skipping!
Testing with prototypes
- Nokia Labs built a sensor packed platform to test prototypes
- easy to learn
- easy to perform
- you will learn it from other people in the real world
- no unintentional triggers
- designed for the mobile context
- scalable visibility
- some people are more flamboyant than others…
- “draw a circle” — comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes!
- fits the task
- even if the gesture is not from the natural metaphor, it should have some link to the task
- works together as a language
- people already mentioning that if there are more than 3 or 4 gestures, they wouldn’t be able to remember… unless they were natural…
- Isn’t it easier to learn new gestures with a new object?
- e.g. introducing NFC cards
- making existing actions a bit smoother
- introducing new features
- Do you think you could take inspiration from sign language gestures?
- Have you ever seen deaf people talking over a video phone…? The language meant to be seen from a distance…
- Is there anything that allows users to start experimenting with their own gestures? Like users added hashtags and other meta-data to twitter?
- Some Japanese phones already let you map 4 pre-defined gestures to specific functions
- Will some gestures inspire a new form factor?