Categories
Tech (General)

Will Touch Screens Ever Take Over?

I tend to agree with David Pogue in his latest Scientific American piece on why touch screens will not take over. Perhaps it is possible for touch screens to solve for all these problems, but I think the energy could be better spent on something superior to touch screens.

It’s not that I think touch screens are going away, I just don’t think it’s the ideal medium for larger touch screen interfaces. In my mind, the Iron Man J.A.R.V.I.S. is the perfect example of where we will eventually get. Where AI (Siri’s mature brother) and touch interfaces have merged to become a more intuitive and usable user experience.

Touch does have it’s place in interaction, both in the physical world as well as the cyber world. However just as we don’t feel our way through the world, I don’t think touch screens will ever be a solid solution for interacting with technology. We’ll find a hybrid that lets the user decide what method works for them at a given moment and a given task.

Categories
Apple

Why Letterboxed iPhone 5 Drive Me Nuts

For those who haven’t upgraded to the iPhone 5, allow me to illustrate why apps on the iPhone 5 that haven’t been updated are frustrating.

Categories
Apple

iPad Keyboard Prototype

iPad Keyboard Prototype

Here’s a great little prototype keyboard someone is proposing for the iPad. I’d love to see this in a future iOS release. The only thing it doesn’t address is the complex problem of autocorrect, which it strangely points out early on. Even still, it’s a great improvement to text selection. Apple should hire the person behind this for some UX work.

Categories
Software

Evil Registration Codes

I hate having to use registration codes when installing software, but have accepted it as the way things work.

Today however I got to enter one that’s 80 characters long. That’s right, 80.

Nothing says “we hate our customers” more than making them enter 80 random characters into a text field before they can install the product they purchased.

Categories
Software

Twitter Client Gripes

Like many in my trade, I keep a Twitter client open all day. 140 characters works very well between compile times, reloads, uploads. I still use RSS extensively, but Twitter fills the gaps nicely as my brain is always looking for information to absorb (feel free to follow if you don’t).

To this day it amazes me that I can’t find a perfect Twitter client. Tweetie back in its day was pretty damn close, but since it was bought by Twitter, it went downhill to the point of being unusable on the iPhone. Amazingly priced at “free” it’s not worth the price. These days TweetBot is as close to perfect as I can find on the iPhone and I’d recommend it to anyone who is frustrated with Twitter for iPhone.

Largely due to neglect the Mac client is still usable to me, however it’s hardly awesome. Why doesn’t “command /” reliably bring the window to focus? Why can’t I set my preferred url shortener? The developer console has lots of weird select and focus issues. I could go on…

From where I sit, these are the most annoying things Twitter still hasn’t figured out:

  • Search Blows – This one everyone always complains about. Search isn’t good, and only goes a few days back. It’s a miserable experience.
  • Amnesia – Twitter has a very limited memory. You can only search a few days back. Your timeline can only go so far back. Even DM’s can only be retrieved a mystery period back. Everything eventually disappears. I actually backup my tweets to a MySQL database so I can search anything I’ve ever tweeted. Most don’t have this luxury. Perhaps they should just partner with Google and let Google handle their archive/search problem. Let Google pay for the data, and for the right to solve this problem.
  • DM Downgraded – This one is pretty specific to the new Twitter “Let’s Fly” UI. Direct Messages, are very obscured and buried. Yea I get it, you want everything out in the open. It’s annoying however to hide useful and sometimes important UI.
  • Incomplete Clients – There’s no interface that seems to do everything. If you want to know how many RT’s or Favorites posts have, the best UI seems to be the website. If you want to use a custom URL shortener, Twitter for iPhone has you covered. Twitter for Mac has no UI to show what client a tweet was created with, mobile with its limited screen size does. It also has no way to see RT stats for a tweet. Want to be notified when you have a mention or DM? iPhone or desktop client is best (that’s not the web clients fault). Amazingly these UI’s all come from the same company. Facebook (now) does a pretty good job on feature parody across web/mobile clients.
  • What are favorites/lists – I don’t think anyone has fully figured out what these really are and how they should be used. Is there a value to maintaining a list? It seems most use favorites as bookmarks to read later, some use it for marking tweets they really like. I know I’ve done both. Facebook hasn’t figured out lists completely either, though I feel they’ve at least given them a useful purpose for power users.
  • Spam – I think if a user signs up and just @replies a link to 50 people, an algorithm should be able to detect they are a spammer and stop it.
  • Placeholder – The thing that annoys me the most is they still haven’t figured out how to leave a placeholder on your timeline. Why can’t I just pickup where I left off? I need to search for it. Facebook never solved for this problem either. Amazon’s Kindle (and apps) solved for this brilliantly. Surely Twitter could adopt an API to solve for this. As someone who restarts their browser often due to work I’m doing, this makes the web UI unusable.

So what am I ignoring in terms of annoying Twitter client things?

Categories
Web Development

Make Login Pages Autofocus