Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Creating Subtle Affordances

In elementary school, my English teacher used to tell me to "tell 'em what yer gonna tell 'em, tell 'em, then tell 'emm what you told 'em". This rule transfers to interface design. Components should always keep users oriented as to potential, current and changed states.

Here are a couple of nifty examples of what call hints and and confirmations.

Confirmations


I like this because it concept because it frees ensures that users know when an a gesture is registered correctly...this is particularly important when the gesture changes a mode in a way that is not completely obvious.

Thanks Jim for sending this. Not sure where it came from. If this is your idea, I'd love to credit you, so speak up!


Hints

Peltier Device on a Mouse provides warm/cold feedback

I like this idea, not so much for mice an large displays, but for mobile zoming interfaces, where the relevant information is off screen.

It might be an interesting way to run around some of the indexing limitations inherent to many zooming interfaces like <br/><a href="http://video.msn.com/video.aspx?vid=f362631f-c86c-4547-a544-9b8eda9975e3" target="_new" title="An Overview of pptPlex">Video: An Overview of pptPlex</a>">ppt plex and deep zoom.

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