iPhone Pinch Interaction - useful?

12 Mar 2007 - 9:46pm
7 years ago
2 replies
439 reads
AlokJain
2006

Dear All,

When the pinch interaction was demo-ed with iPhone, I had a pretty
positive response, but as I thought more about it and discussed with a
few colleagues around, I am not sure if that kind of interaction would
be very useful in a small device, or any other device where only one
hand is used.

I see interactions like sliders, scrollbars, light switches, joysticks
etc.. where people control the "degree" of something.. These are what
people are used to, where one end is fixed and other can be dragged to
control the value. In a Pinch interaction, two fingers have to be used
simultaneously and together the fingers overlap/hide 30-50% of the
content underneath..

In large displays however the two hands are used , which we are used
to of, and they do not cover as large an area of content.

Nevertheless the idea behind this mail to explore and not conclude..

Thoughts? And how would we test effectiveness of such interaction?

--
Best Regards
Alok Jain
----------------------------------------------------------
http://www.iPrincipia.com
http://www.i-Kreate.org

Comments

13 Mar 2007 - 5:59pm
Josh
2006

One thing I noticed as a possible frustration with the iPhone UX, with the
pinch interaction as a great example, is the reliance on 2 hands and 2 eyes
to navigate the system. It's definitely reasonable to make users look at
something that is visual by nature (video, pictures, etc.), and it's
reasonable to require increased manual interaction when the user is looking
to interact with to achieve an advanced task (edit, manipulate, etc.). I
have a problem when it requires 2 hands and 2 eyes to achieve tasks that are
not advanced or necessarily visual. Example: I should be able to play songs
w/out looking at the screen. My sony walkman from junior high worked like
this (big play button on the side), why can't my iPod or iPhone? It gets
even worse when I have to use 2 hands and 2 eyes to add a contact or dial a
number, something I don't have to do with most of the phones I've owned.

The issue of the "pinch" hiding the content that is being pinched depending
on finger size, is very interesting. I'm thinking that if the action is
quick enough and the level control needed over the object is not too exact,
it might not be too much of a problem. Of course, I do get frustrated when
using Photoshop and my magic wand hides the thing I'm trying to click.

--
Josh Viney
EastMedia Group
http://www.eastmedia.com

13 Mar 2007 - 6:44pm
Matt Attaway
2004

> I have a problem when it requires 2 hands and 2 eyes to achieve tasks
> that are
> not advanced or necessarily visual. Example: I should be able to play
> songs
> w/out looking at the screen. My sony walkman from junior high worked like
> this (big play button on the side), why can't my iPod or iPhone? It gets
> even worse when I have to use 2 hands and 2 eyes to add a contact or
> dial a
> number, something I don't have to do with most of the phones I've owned.

My experience with the iPod at least is that I don't have to look at the
controls to stop, play, or switch songs. I've learned where in the device
space those functions exist and I use the edges of the pod to know where I
am. For instance, when my iPod is in my jeans pocket, instead of reaching
in my pocket to skip a song, I just push on my pocket. I think the iPhone
may provide a similar wayfinding mechanism; you'll learn where buttons are
in relation to the edges of the device. I don't think it would work with a
larger gadget, but it may work for the bevy of small touchscreen devices
headed our way.

I'm definitely curious to see how a non-tactile interface works out. I've
been very excited to try it, but most of my friends are trepidacious to
say the least. There was a keyboard called the Touchstream that was a
combo keyboard/mouse that was non-tactile and it had a rabid following. It
was always a little too pricey for me, but it had a fair number of users
that were really into it. It had all sort of cool looking gestures for
maniuplating the desktop. We'll note though, the company went under. =)
Here's an Amazon link: http://tinyurl.com/27n6oq

My suspicion is that people's love of shiny things and texting while
driving will inspire them to learn to use these new devices without
looking. ;)

Cheers,
Matt

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