Pierluigi Dalla Rosa
Dae Hyun Baek
iii transforms one of the most fundamental parts of how we engage with our personal devices - typing. iii makes typing intuitive, responsive, and satisfying. With clear physical and digital affordances, users are able to speed through the interface and get to typing what’s on their mind with little effort. Our keyboard interface used an ETAOINSHRDLU configuration, organised by the frequency of letter usage in common English words.
We spent some time looking at alternate typing methods apart from the most widely known QWERTY keyboard. This lead us to discovering some very unique inventions. We learnt about Douglas Englebart's Chorded Keyboard, Cy Endfield's Microwriter, the Twiddler and Tap Strap. Each example was for a different use case and it was interesting to learn about why they were not widely adopted.
We were constantly thinking of ways that we could speed up the typing process. This lead us to arranging the letters in the order of the most frequently used letters in the Roman Alphabet - ETAOINSHRDLCU. While this would be a new mental model for people to grasp, we would test our prototype to see how easy it is for people when they spent a few minutes typing.
By Dulomo LLC
Connecting People in New Ways
Everyone is familiar with the concept of laser tag, but who knew that you all you needed to play was your iPhone. The developers managed to think about the phone in a new way that provides for an extremely joyful experience.
I found this app only after doing deep research in the realm of AR apps. It is made by a small team of developers who may not have much budget for advertising. However, it is important for them to come up with some kind of strategy for more people to find out about it.
Everytime you shoot, get shot, or die, there is some form of haptic feedback. This is particularly helpful because in the middle of an active game in low light, it becomes diffficult to keep track of text on the phone. Haptic and audio feedback provides for a more authentic and successful experience.
In Game Progress
While haptic and audio feedback does give you an indicator of how you are playing, there are other key points of data, such as ammo and health that are not highlighted clearly enough.
New Way of Seeing
This app uses the iPhone as a tool to help people complete their tasks. When in active game mode, the screen assists people by removing focus from uneccessary objects in the environment and highlights the other user’s points.
Once a game is completed, the celebratory animation is underwhelming and doesn’t match the fidelity of the rest of the app. There could be more cohesion amongst the two.
We needed to develop the software and hardware for this project. Each of us came up with five ideas each and we evaluated them collectively. Once we narrowed down on three directions, we quickly prototyped the interface on processing. While for the form explorations we used a combination of rapid prototyping and sketching to inform our final decision.
The circular interface we prototyped in processing was easy to understand and fun to use. It performed lower in the speed of typing but the interface was much simpler than our other explorations. We decided to drop the idea because it reminded us of existing typing mechanisms in cars.
Inspired by the pattern in our research, we developed a chorded mechanism. We recognised the cognitive load it would have on a user, so we tried to devise a new method which had a higher correlation between the letter being typed and the buttons being pressed. Ultimately, we concluded that it would take more effort for people to recall what keys they needed to press rather than being able to focus on what they actually wanted to type.
Our circular layout only used one button, while the chorded keyboard used all five. The tabular keyboard exploration used three buttons and had a unique, but intuitive interface. We prototyped this on Processing and found it to be the most successful option of the three.
We created several lo-fi prototypes to explore the form of the keyboard. Our final device was a sleek sandwich of opaque and transparent sections that revealed the multi-coloured circuits powering the prototype.
Parallel to our lo-fi prototypes, we sketched out a few form explorations to consider the different functions the keyboard could provide and what materials may be required to create it.
We created our criteria of success for the keyboard based on four parameters and mapped our 5 ideas against them - physical comfort, typing efficiency, ease of learning and approachable interface. This framework allowed us to be very practical about our work and justify our final choices.