The Re-imagining Apps for Ultrabook™ video series introduces new ways of thinking about the design and development of desktop applications and offers practical design advice to help developers take advantage of new opportunities in Intel’s Ultrabook devices. Luke Wroblewski, an internationally recognized digital product leader who has designed or contributed to software used by more than 700 million people worldwide, introduces the series:
Over the past several years, both in my product work and writings, I’ve focused primarily on designing for mobile devices. Mobile has not only grown tremendously, but popularized new ways for people to interact with digital services as well. New capabilities like multi-touch, location detection, device orientation, and much more have made mobile devices a playground for new interactions and product ideas. It’s been an exciting ride to say the least.
Now many of these revolutionary capabilities are making their way to a new category of devices through Intel’s Ultrabook™ system and, once again, a new set of opportunities is available for designers and developers to re-imagine software. It’s an exciting time for desktop apps and I hope this video series will not only inspire you to explore new ways of thinking but help you with detailed design advice as well.
To start the series, we’re going to look at the opportunity touch interfaces provide for desktop applications. Specifically, we’ll outline the impact of new input methods in personal computing and walk through the top-level principles behind designing for touch. The mainstream adoption of touch by consumers makes it a key part of re-imagining desktop apps and, as a result, a great way to begin this video series.
In part 2 we build on the foundation from part 1 with a practical guide to touch targets-- that is, how large we need to make our application controls and where should we place them on screen in order to optimize for touch. We’ll not only talk about general guidelines but also look at a before and after design that converts a keyboard and mouse application called Tweester, the ultimate social networking tool for the storm chasing community, to a touch-optimized interface. Our redesign will cover navigation, input controls, and generally aim to simplify the interface for touch.
In part 3, we look at the impact of touch on desktop application design with an overview of touch gestures, how we can use them in our applications, and ways to make gesture-based interactions more discoverable for the people using our apps. Needing three videos to cover touch interface design is a testament not only to the importance of touch but also to the kinds of opportunities it enables. These opportunities are perhaps most visible when we look at touch gestures.Gestures are how people get things done on touch interfaces. When coupled with keyboard and mouse interactions, like on touch-enabled Ultrabooks, touch gestures expand our palette of input capabilities and the ways people accomplish tasks within our applications.
The location detection capabilities in the Ultrabook™ platform provide lots of ways to rethink existing apps. In part 4, we look at an overview of location detection technologies and how we can use them to enhance desktop applications. We also walk through redesigning an existing desktop app to take advantage of location detection. Through location inclusion, filtering, interactions between objects, background processing and more, desktop applications can be greatly enriched and improved.
Device motion is made possible by a combination of always-on sensors (typically an accelerometer, a magnetometer, and a gyroscope) that tell us how a computer is moving through the space around it. The ability of these sensors to provide precise information about the movement of a device opens up new design possibilities for applications.
We’ll review the new technologies in Ultrabook devices we’ve used during this video series to help us rethink what desktop application design can be. Then we’ll explore how people are increasingly using multiple devices throughout their day to get things done and how Ultrabooks applications can fit in to these new cross device use cases.
About Your Host
Luke Wroblewski is an internationally recognized digital product leader who has designed or contributed to software used by more than 700 million people worldwide. He was co-founder and CPO of Bagcheck (acquired by Twitter in 2011), chief design architect at Yahoo! Inc., and is the author of three popular Web design books including his most recent: Mobile First. Luke is a contracted vendor with Intel; opinions expressed are his own and do not necessarily represent Intel's position on any issue.