In a constantly changing world of technology, adaptability is the key to survive. A trend that picks up among the tech-savvy crowd is received with much fanfare if introduced in the gadgets. But this trend is not necessarily here to stay and once the euphoria dies down, a not so promising trend gathers steam. This potential of the trend that picks up is not fleeting in some cases as in gesture recognition technology.
It you take a closer look at the young generation of this age, it does not take much time to comprehend what this technology has in store. This section of people such as the recently weaned five-year-olds can outwit the grown-ups and explain the functional and operational aspects to them without even blinking. Such attachment to this technology is much more than a product designer bargained for.
Apple redefined gesture and touch interfaces
The introduction of Apple’s iPhone sparked the trend of brands banking upon gesture-driven interfaces and this euphoria attached to this iconic device among people is not showing any signs of dying down. It should be brought to notice that touch and gesture devices were experimented by many brands with little or no response from tech-savvy people.
All the nonchalance related to it seemed to make it clear that this technology was never to be received by gadget-lovers with open arms- iPhone changed it all and gesture technology received the much needed impetus and people have been privy to the allure since then.
The app reviews from the Apple App Review Board too have revolutionized the use of gesture recognition technology. It has helped filter a truck load of unnecessary and below-par apps that do not meet the specified standards. This sifting from Apple has raised the bar truly, but has made other brands to become a part of the competition and helped them not concede their business to other technology giants that have raked huge profits using parallel technologies.
How to design a good gesture-driven interface?
Here are a few tips to design a good gesture-driven interface:
1. Get rid of top and bottom bars
This part of the functionality now in place in many gesture interface gadgets was experimented and used by Apple long before its popularity. These top and bottom bars can be held accountable for the clutter on the screen as they nearly occupy 20% of it. Given the tiny size of the gadgets such as smart phones, every pixel of them has to be judiciously used and occupied. This gives more room for the content.
2. Progressive disclosure is important
Instead of the screen being clouded with a lot of notes that pop up, it is better to use visual cues along the way. A deluge of information at the entry point of the app can leave the user confused as to how he can use the app. This should be avoided and the user has to be provided with this bit of information as and when he uses the app with a good amount of creativity and skill. Intrusion too is a big problem in this case.
3. Other tips
Tapping and double-tapping should also be used judiciously as when the situation demands it. There can be no reservations on this too. Another way of assisting the user in performing certain operations of their choice is to display the user full screen, the hint and later it can be designed to fade away after a few minutes when the user has been notified of the operation. There are more options such as the choice with the highest priority in the menu being highlighted so that it does not escape the eyes of the user.
All of these other tips also can be fairly used to convey the much needed piece of information. A good recce of user habits can be very much helpful.
Mr. Y suffered much in his career because of not switching to gesture recognition technology in his work.
Though he had a difficult childhood, he persisted with hardwork and achieved a good education. He settled for a suitable job in a company of his choice and was drawing a handsome salary. As he was known to never get bogged down by expectations and hardships, he reached the zenith of the concerned industry and managed huge projects. His charisma inspired many people to strive for the impossible.
Later, as he was doing well in his profession, he thought of earning through his profession by freelancing. He built a good rapport with a good number of clients and soon his career was up and running. After a considerable number of years, he got accustomed to conventional way of designing websites and never thought of adapting to the changing environment around.
He did not take the emergence of gesture-driven interface in gadgets seriously because he thought the fanfare for these gadgets was a farce. Soon, he could not keep up with the changing atmosphere after this technology came into being. To add to his woes, he was a person who was not keeping with this generation and this caused his downfall.
Lessons that can be drawn from this story
You should strive very hard not to end up like the gentleman in this story. If you are to say that gesture-driven interface and other ultra modern technologies are not your cup of tea, it’s about time to think otherwise. Reconsidering the options may help your business or job get a boost and reach the zenith that no one expected it to traverse to. This being said, let us look into what changed the scenario completely and made brands explore gesture-driven interface as an option to consider.
• People are used to gestures: It is no more a secret that people are now used to touchscreen devices and they are comfortable scrolling up and down using their fingers. They also know that a flip to the right changes the page or that it may delete something. Thus, when the consumers and the market is already a mature one, if the company doesn’t adopt gesture-driven technology, not only will it be making itself vulnerable to future, but also to present.
• Learn from failures: Companies like Blackberry and Palm suffered precisely because they were neither ready for the present nor the future. Though few people may prefer QWERTY keypads, they are no longer used by most people. It is thus imperative to watch and observe the present, and future-proof with technology that will last for a few years if not a decade.
• Maintain R&D: Always have a group of professionals who will head R&D. These days, one ca outsource R&D activities to n offshore agency as well, if you are not willing to take it up yourself. It may cost a little extra money, but it will help you to save money by letting you know what the future is going to be like and how the market will react.
• Expect the worst: Though it sounds like a pessimist’s punch line, expecting the worst to happen will keep you prepared for unforeseeable outcomes in the future. The technology that we know today may cease to exist in justa few months. With that in mind, we must invest in employees who can adapt to change, expect change and even foresee change.
• Don’t be afraid: Companies are usually hesitant to make changes within their organization. They often feel it is going to hurt them in the short term or that they may not be successful in adopting changing technologies. By getting rid of this primal fear, one can easily ensure that one is future-proof to an extent.
A lot of quantifiable information about gesture-driven interface has been discussed in this article with a story depicting the perils of not using gesture-driven interface in your work. All of these paragraphs point to the fact that gesture-driven interface has a good amount of potential for the designers to consider it as a trend and incorporate it in your work. You surely need to adopt this technology in the work of yours and never shy away from it as a choice for a healthy business. This alone can decide about your survival in this designing field.
Moreover, it is also important to know that a new technology will arrive sooner or later, which will be far more advanced than the current gesture-driven technology. It is important to invest in research and development that will allow us to stay prepared for the unknown future.