Oct 24

Mixing inputs; Voice++

Tech, UI / UX with tags: No Comments »

“I don’t believe that your phone should be an assistant”

Really Andy?. I found this very defensive, and wrong. Who doesn’t want more help? Don’t get me wrong…. Siri isn’t there yet at all, especially for a Brit who has been in the US for almost half of his life, and one who lives without a great network available. It doesn’t get my words. It frustratingly doesn’t assist me when I need it (e.g. “launch pandora”). But, a good step, and you can see where this can end up.

Interestingly Android had a lead here with great voice integration deep into the OS. When working, it changes how we do things. I love texting via voice. Finally, asynchronous voice!

The other side of shit that siri says is the humanity that it sometimes comes up with (faking it, but aren’t we all?). The opposite of the robot. I was very excited to hear Matias Duarte talk about how many people don’t love Android as they should. That is ballsy to come out and say that. He is someone who cares, and who can fix that. We need that competition.

Lastly, voice has always been an obvious input. It is hard to do, and it will keep taking time…. but it is close, and usable. I am excited to start to see mixed mode input.

I want to be able to start typing a password and concurrently say “show password” and have the mode flip. Type an email and say “send”. I enjoy seeing trends from pushing buttons, to touching and swiping. Voice fits in nicely.

Smellovision here we come…. oh, and reading your brain waves.

Oct 18

The four personality types on the spectrum of design; VOL_07

Tech, UI / UX 1 Comment »


I was looking at the car display in my wife’s new Toyota and had a double take when I changed the volume. The display literally reads “VOL_##”. Who would ship that? Even more baffling was the fact that my own older car of the same make doesn’t have this ugly format at all. Surely this was the result of some i18n(”VOL_07″) and the mapping to “Volume 07″ was missing?

This started to remind me of the sliding scale of design and fashion awareness that I see out there. Here are some stereotypes:

Fashion Deaf

Have you met those people who couldn’t care less about fashion? Well, not even that…. they can’t even see the difference in quality. You give them two pieces of clothing, or two user experiences, and they have no preference what-so-ever. These people have no idea why some folk much prefer Mac. They would never notice or care about VOL_07 and more power to them.

The A/B Eye Test

Next up you have the folks who can tell that something is “better”. They love their iPhones, although they can’t really tell you why. If you put two UIs in front of them they will tell you that they prefer A over B, but can’t *really* articulate why. They get it at an unconscious level.

My eyes! my eyes!

Then you have the folks who are personally pained by unfashionablistas. VOL_07 and Android UIs make their eyes bleed. They think that Google needs to hire some designers for many of their products.

When given the A/B test, they are able to discern what they like and dislike about a given design, and they come up with things to improve. They get it.

The Creator

Then there are the folks who can go to the next level. They can create great design. It can look good in the current fashion, or the best ones are able to make the future. They come up with new amazing interactions and visuals. They make you love their product.

Now, of course these are gross generalizations. I can jump around a little between these categories even depending on my mood that day. I can amaze myself coming up with something decent one day, and then be staring at crap another. Kinda like my golf game…. you hit enough good balls that you are willing to come back some time to play again.

I really enjoy watching folks in the top two categories. Ben is one of those guys. I can stare at the same thing as him and he will find 20 holes in it that I do not. Watching a creator such as Sean Martell wielding his Wacom tablet is a sight to beyond. Watching greatness at work.

Where do you fit?