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  1. #1
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    Jul 2010

    Swipe UI: simple small suggestions (SX3)

    My spider sense is tingling and I'm not sure where to post this ramble, if anywhere in here. I'm writing about UX here though not from an applications UX, but from the UX of the platform itself. Feel free to move this if I'm in the wrong place. This particular forum hasn't got much life in it and it deserves some action too!

    I have a few very very basic and simple "ideas", which don't revolutionize anything, but would add some nice polish, that I'd like to have on my N9 if I ever manage to get one. So I am doing this for selfish reasons (y).

    A few years back some smartphone philosophic came up with the idea, that the next great big smartphone platform would become successful because it would know it's user. What all this entails - I don't know, but examples given were that it'd know when your friends were nearby and you'd have an comprehensive search that would custom tailor the search results to your liking. To me these things don't really give you the feeling that your phone knows you, albeit they are nice additions (the search has later been made into reality in WP7 in some scale).

    I don't have it in me to come up with all the jizzle to make a phone so smart that it can suggest you things without "sounding" like the metallic thing from word and being equally annoying. But with a few simple things the phone can - well - make your day easier. I'm talking about the events view in particular. Where it shows the date/weather it could also show name days, birthdays. (Birthdays probably already get aggregated to the events view somehow?) The point here is that the phone should collect these small bits and peaces of information that you might otherwise forget and remind you of them saving you some trouble. It could go through the most popular services, like Facebook, and collect this data. Naturally your calendar, which is already integrated I'm sure. Never to forget a birthday, or even worse: your wedding day, again.

    I want to have music controls everywhere, so this might just be me wanting them everywhere, but when the music app is running, you could display some controls for it in the events view under the date. To me those controls would be at least as useful as knowing the weather.

    This one I had the patience to do properly: MUSIC CONTROLS :D

    The next view - the app view - is nice, but the big scrolling list is just hard to navigate from time to time. You have your favorite apps at the top, but when you need that one that you don't so often use, which is located all the way somewhere in the bottom of the list, you're going to have trouble finding it. Or at least I have trouble with this. That's way it'd be nice to have some options on how the apps are arranged, just for the sake of using these options to find something. First option could be to arrange them alphabetically, then maybe most used (well this is more of indicator on how much time you spend on IRC and other non-productive applications), last used and maybe even have a search function there for those situations when you really can't find what you're looking for.

    Controlling the order could be done by adding some option in the bar that pops up saying "Done" (sorry for using this technical jibber jabber).

    If arranged alphabetically, it's important to clearly show where the letter changes!

    Open applications view comes the last. Now the applications get arranged in this view by last used, which is somewhat curious in my opinion. I think it's a shortcoming, but if it has some weird logic in it, that I only get by testing it out myself, I have a small suggestion: being able to pin applications. I'm sure there are a few apps that I'll access a lot from the open applications view and in these cases it would be optimal, to know where they are. Now I'm getting the feeling that I'm going to completely fail at explaining this, so I'm just going to give an example.

    I'd use mail and IRC a lot, so I want them somewhere "close". I'd probably 'pin' (if I could) my IRC application as the first app in my open applications view (OAV). If I did this, the last used app wouldn't jump all the way to the first spot, but to the second one. If I'd pin my mail app as the second app in OAV, the last used application would jump to the third spot. If I'd pin something in the 4th spot, the latest used application would jump to the 3rd spot, forcing the second most used application to jump to the 5th spot.

    You reading me? Pinning could be done from the same state from which you close applications; just add an icon in the similar fashion as the big 'ol X to one of the corners.

    The next really original idea can remind someone from another platform that hovers around somewhere, but I'm not going to mention it, just because I don't want to admit it that this idea was not original at all. I can understand if this slight resemblance could be a factor in whether making this idea come true or not. But some nice guy with a little bit of hack in his veins could make this happen, not having to be afraid of giant corporation lawsuits :)

    "Piles". Oh lord thou shalt be thanked of the power of synonyms! In the few videos presented they showed how every browser window was shown as it's own application in the OAV -- > you already know where I'm getting at. Would be nice to have the option to sta... ugh PILE each of these "windows" on top another saving space and making everything look tidier for us OCD people.

    The next thing is background. If they're ever going to release and update I'm sure this is a thing it's going to bring with it. "The edgeless display" looks really cool in those adverts of yours, but at some point you just might want to opt for something a bit more colorful.

    Maybe an harsher than harsh edge shadow, to keep the illusion of edgelessness.The colour of the shadow should be #000000 right after the edge, but preferably clear out to more transparent pretty quickly. I really didn't have the patience to make this image portray that.

    The last thing should be obvious if anything above has made any sense. I get keeping everything simple is a good thing. Would be off putting for a new user if swiping from different sides were to do completely different things. But when you grow accustomed to how things work, you're most likely going to start 'favouriting' one or two of the edges, leaving the rest for "grabs".

    A few simple examples (that again I'd like to have for myself (.)(.)): swiping from the top edge would bring me to the app view even if it was not the last used view. Swiping from the bottom would bring up music controls (see, I'm a total lunatic when it comes to music controls: everywhere, I WANT THEM EVERYWHERE GODDAMNIT :D). What each swipe does could be configured from the settings. Letting us control 2/4 would mean that we could make the phone more personal, but the system would still be idiot proof (though nothing is if you find an idiot that's stupid enough).

    I love the quick launcher. It's complete proof that there are some very bright individuals working behind the UX. It's a small addition, but a clever one nevertheless. Clever one because it creates a new "gesture". One edge used: three to go.


    So sorry for bothering you guys with this, but I want the perfect smartphone and the N9 is so close to that! I absolutely love the UX, but by polishing it from a few places, I'd love it even more. I don't know why my love would be so important though...

    Someone please make an SSH connection app that lets you use irssi! Example. Vital for the platform.

    Also: N9 would be perfect hardware if it had more pixels and a CPU that wasn't a year old. There, I said it. Sorry N9. I'll never talk about those two things again.

    That's that. Mind you, this was written after a night of no sleep (thank you dogs, thank you birds, thank you noisy people next door) with the power of Cocal Cola. And I hate Cocal Cola.
    Last edited by JX3; 2011-07-25 at 15:44.

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