Wheels as user interface mechanisms

8 Oct 2009 - 8:59am
5 years ago
10 replies
1402 reads
russwilson
2005

Post on wheels as user interface mechanisms:
http://uitrends.com/2009/10/07/wheels-keep-on-turnin/
Curious - are there any examples of graphical wheels in user interfaces?
Specifically a graphical wheel
that the user would have to rotate?

Thanks,
Russ

--------
Russell Wilson
Vice President of Product Design, NetQoS
Blog: http://www.dexodesign.com
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/russwilson

Comments

8 Oct 2009 - 9:35am
jpb
2009

I've always wanted the original iPod wheel to to be replicated in
software on the iPhone. Angular motion is limitless, whereas swiping
to scroll requires you repeat the "swipe" action again and again.

On Thu, Oct 8, 2009 at 2:59 AM, Russell Wilson <russ.wilson at gmail.com> wrote:
> Post on wheels as user interface mechanisms:
> http://uitrends.com/2009/10/07/wheels-keep-on-turnin/
> Curious - are there any examples of graphical wheels in user interfaces?
>  Specifically a graphical wheel
> that the user would have to rotate?
>
> Thanks,
> Russ
>
>
> --------
> Russell Wilson
> Vice President of Product Design, NetQoS
> Blog: http://www.dexodesign.com
> LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/russwilson
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Reply to this thread at ixda.org
> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=46499
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
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--
_________________________
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http://www.jonathanpberger.com
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8 Oct 2009 - 10:17am
Dave Malouf
2005

hmm? I would argue that a circular motion is not idea when you don't
know the pointing device being used. E.g. a mouse or even the
limitations of a trackpad don't really afford the ergonomic fidelity
to make a circular gesture that a 'click-wheel' or even a knob in
their physical form allows for. I would further argue it is the
reason why the circle doesn't even exist in the iPhone where direct
(unabstracted) articulation is present because of the lack of
physical feedback.

Most circular forms I have seen on even the iPhone are more about
being carousels where only the top or the bottom is truly being
articulated. Looking at my son's Old MacDonald game which has a
circle presentation, doesn't work as a whole circle in reality. Or
more aptly is really hard to make it work.

-- dave

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8 Oct 2009 - 1:08pm
Clayton Miller
2009

Nokia has an interesting instance of a wheel gesture, as opposed to a
visual wheel control, in their upcoming Maemo 5 mobile UI:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qv31UMpLFCY

Nokia is using it for zooming, but could you see it working for
vertical scrolling? Imagine an "invisible iPod wheel" that engages
whenever you begin a circular motion on a linear scroll space.

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8 Oct 2009 - 6:26pm
Craig Pickering
2007
9 Oct 2009 - 12:39am
cfmdesigns
2004

On Oct 8, 2009, at 6:59 AM, Russell Wilson wrote:

> Post on wheels as user interface mechanisms:
> http://uitrends.com/2009/10/07/wheels-keep-on-turnin/
> Curious - are there any examples of graphical wheels in user
> interfaces?
> Specifically a graphical wheel
> that the user would have to rotate?

The SoftBook Reader and Gemstar eBook (think Kindle, but almost a
decade earlier and more attractive form) from circa 1999 had a feature
for waking up to do an automatic download of content (aimed at
newspaper feeds). The interface had a clock which you could set by
moving the hands (as well as by setting the numbers).

Frankly, it was more precious than useful as a feature (says the guy
who tested it). A classic case of emulating the physical mechanics
(although at least you could set hour and minute hands independently).

-- Jim

9 Oct 2009 - 3:56am
Jarod Tang
2007

there's phsical sensation feedback which iPhone lacks for a wheel
control

Sent from my iPod

On 8 Oct 2009, at 10:35 PM, jonathan berger
<jonathanpberger at gmail.com> wrote:

> I've always wanted the original iPod wheel to to be replicated in
> software on the iPhone. Angular motion is limitless, whereas swiping
> to scroll requires you repeat the "swipe" action again and again.
>
> On Thu, Oct 8, 2009 at 2:59 AM, Russell Wilson
> <russ.wilson at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Post on wheels as user interface mechanisms:
>> http://uitrends.com/2009/10/07/wheels-keep-on-turnin/
>> Curious - are there any examples of graphical wheels in user
>> interfaces?
>> Specifically a graphical wheel
>> that the user would have to rotate?
>>
>> Thanks,
>> Russ
>>
>>
>> --------
>> Russell Wilson
>> Vice President of Product Design, NetQoS
>> Blog: http://www.dexodesign.com
>> LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/russwilson
>>
>>
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Reply to this thread at ixda.org
>> http://www.ixda.org/discuss?post=46499
>>
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
>> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
>> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>>
>
>
>
> --
> _________________________
> @jonathanpberger
> http://www.marketpublique.com
> http://www.jonathanpberger.com
> 718.930.2165
> This email is: [*] bloggable [ ] ask first [ ] private
> <iphone-wheel.png>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help

9 Oct 2009 - 5:16am
Abhay Rautela
2008

With the exception of the finger/ stylus for touchscreen (where
despite the lack of tactile feedback, the wheel should be a better
alternative to controls like the scrubber in space constrained
screens), I share Dave%u2019s thoughts on using the wheel as a
control in software with pointing devices- it%u2019s highly
inefficient.

Answering your question on whether there are wheels in software UI,
one area I can think you will find wheels common, actually dials...
is in the software audio domain. You%u2019ll find them used in the
digital audio workstations (DAW%u2019s) and VST plugins (used to
generate sounds or effects). Many VST%u2019s try and emulate
traditional/ analog audio hardware effect units and synths and are
also visually modeled to look like them. Hence, you find dials common
in them.

Here%u2019s are images of the ppd tritium and Muon Tau Pro bassline
generators: http://www.kvraudio.com/i/m/60.jpg,
http://rekkerd.org/img/articles/muon_tau_pro.png where pretty much
the dials constitute most of the interface.

As a user of audio software, here are my notes on dials as UI:
1) Some require users to turn the knob/ dial circularly for operation
2) Some require users to use the pointing device to make linear
movements, and this corresponds to the dial being turned.
3) There is lack of consistency in this regard and the user finds
this irritating.
4) Some software allow you to toggle between both methods, so you can
choose the method you are comfortable with.

On wheels as UI on the web, the last I saw them used were in Flash
websites during 2001-2002 (when Flash was still in transition of
getting over its evil/ 99% bad image) after the iPod came out. I
remember there were tutorials that showed you how to make an iPod
wheel in Flash and use it for selecting navigation links. They were a
real puzzle for users to figure out.

-Abhay
Cone Trees- User Research & Design
http://www.conetrees.com
http://www.uxquotes.com
http://www.theuxbookmark.com
http://www.twitter.com/conetrees
http://uxbookclub.org/doku.php?id=new_delhi
http://www.slideshare.net/group/web-accessibility

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9 Oct 2009 - 10:12am
Paul Bryan
2008

Apple is introducing a Macbook that makes use of the wheel interface.
Video description here:

http://www.theonion.com/content/video/apple_introduces_revolutionary

They decided to buypass unnecessary UCD processes or user testing,
relying on the %u201Cgot to have it%u201D power of the brand.

/pb

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9 Oct 2009 - 11:30am
Mark Young
2008

Rotation gizmos in 3D tools like 3ds max, Maya, etc. have wheel-like
interactions. The visual interface is a virtual trackball with a
circle around each of the principle axes - you drag along the circle
to rotate the selection around the corresponding axis. Since you
don't need to drag exactly along the circle once you start dragging
it feels to me a bit like turning a crank with a stretchy handle.

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10 Oct 2009 - 9:24am
Uidude
2009

I had just the same thought as conetees. In some multimedia
application such as those for audio editing, I have seen dials where
the operator clicks on the dial once, and drags the mouse either
up/down or left/right that rotates the knob clockwise, anti-clockwise
accordingly. But again, it maybe that only those technicians are aware
of how to manipulate them and I am not knowing if there has been any
user study or research on such dial controls.

Just wondering if all knobs can really be replaced with sliders, as
both have a definite start and end value with a scale factor that
determines the interval value between them.

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Posted from the new ixda.org
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