Few tech consumers think of their devices in terms of product design. But we immediately (if subconsciously) recognize quality when we experience it: a website that quickly delivers relevant services or search results, or a mobile app that intuitively responds to your touch, swipe or pinch. Touchscreens and gesture-recognition are rapidly changing the way we interact with technology. Tech Tuesday considers how those new interfaces are changing user experience.
New Interface, New User-Experiences
The way we interact with technology is changing rapidly. We control smartphones and tablet computers with pinches, zooms and swipes on touchscreens. New game systems like the Microsoft Kinect and Nintendo Wii respond to user gestures and movements. The Siri personal assistant program on new iPhones responds to voice commands and questions. Google has even recently announced a plan for "augmented reality" glasses.
These new devices and controls could lead to better, more intuitive technology - or they could lead to frustrating and confusing experiences. This Tech Tuesday, we explore the multidisciplinary field of "User Experience" (UX).
Guest Greg Flory flags two examples of interesting apps, designed on the Apple iOS system (you can check out Apple's iOS "Human Interface Guidelines" here):
Guest Morgan Reed is intrigued by the musical apps created by Smule, including a "wind" instrument called Ocarina:
Many of these new products are designed primarily for entertainment or personal organization. But they could have significant impacts across the technology field in the coming decades. Reed flags InterKnowlogy, a software company that designed gesture recognition application for the health sector:
Last month, the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved a powdered alcohol product, making both parents and lawmakers nervous. Some states have already banned powdered alcohol. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with Brent Roth of Wired, who made his own powdered concoction and put it to the test.
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