Designing for People Who Have Better Things To Do With Their Lives, Part Two

Designing for People Who Have Better Things To Do With Their Lives, Part Two

“Users can’t control the mouse very well.” – Joel Spolsky

Lots of really great antidotes in this post, but that is the core truth. One sees this time and again in the computer games space where they make basic assumptions about your ability to interact with the game which just don’t hold true in the common case. To hear my daughter rail against WASD just breaks the heart.

Yet if there were no Minecraft, she won’t have persevered and learned how to navigate in 3D virtual space along the way.

Good thing that.

We’ve been grappling with a similar issue with touch. You’d think this wouldn’t be that hard. Nearly everyone has at least one finger, no? That’s not the problem. The issue is at least half of our customer base wears long acrylic nails that, you guessed it, don’t work on touch screens. So tap targets need to be larger, with more space in between them.

The kernel of knowledge that May Li, of Apple, taught me was swiping. Wherever possible make a swipe the answer not tapping. This shows up more in our iPad version with the larger screen, but it’s that insight which makes the whole Physics engine and User Dynamics features of iOS7 make sense.

Oddly, not directly communicated.

Instead Apple just assumes we’ll take they’re word for it and follow along.

At times it feels a bit like being blind and a touch crazy. I’m doing this thing which I can only really feel, not see, and I have no idea what’s next or why I’m doing it at all.

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