NUI design talk

3 Dec

As a thread in the NUI group forum, there’s this nice video talk from Darren David, Nathan Moody – Designing Natural User Interfaces from Interaction Design Association on Vimeo.
http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=4420794&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=0&color=&fullscreen=1

A brief summary of its core topics, and how they apply in my MTdjing application for music control over multitouch surfaces:

  • NUI goal: “eliminate proxy control do increase immersion” -> Computer DJs can get rid of those mice device (interacion proxys) and manipulate the digital medium with their hands like they would on their natural hardware (mixer,s turntables, cd decks, fx processors, vynil records, etc…).
  • “NUI emotional conotation if for play instead of work (GUI)” -> this means the usual coment that is heard about computer djs (“that they’re not that physical / they don’t move that much / they’re checking emails”) is colapsed under the fact that with a MTdjing application a DJ can perform all the tasks of his favoutire Djing-software with his hands moving around a table like a regular DJ.
  • “Manage the user expectation issue” luckly when we think about a DJing application its  an easy situations because we have an advantage: “this is the users old method”. A table + hand interaction is the way everyone Dj’ed until recently (where softwares like traktor and others appeared to the main public).
  • “Expectations of GUI” this can be a problem, because DJs that use actual virtual solutions (traktor Dj and other software to spin records) are used to a “software application” metaphor – and in a touchtable where talking about a NUI where the interaction is a bit diferent than an application running inside a computer: no mouse, no keyboard, no windows nor operating system, etc… So its hard to develop metaphor that will serve both the normal djs and the computer djs.
  • “Multi-user paradigm” this is where it really gets tricky. As far as MTdjing prototypes we are not considering the detection of each user – that is one of the core challenges of multitouch nowadays – because Djing is a task that you can do with multiple users but there’s no imediate need to understand who’s who. Of course we can think of matters where a multi-user multi-touch system for Djing matters, and I’ll write a post soon of some thoughs on “if we knew who’s hand is this”.
  • “Predictable, guessable interface” because we’re aiming for a mix of metaphors (somewhere beetween what computer djs see on their laptop screen and what hardware djs use with their hands) the interface will be inherently discoverable and natural for the users.
  • Real gestures matter” nothing need to be said about this, it just goes back to the previous bullet.

Final note: watch the video.

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