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Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2012 about Gestures

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Friday 9th March 2012

  • Teaching Touch: Tapworthy Touchscreen Design

    by Josh Clark

    Discover the rules of thumb for finger-friendly design. Touch gestures are sweeping away buttons, menus and windows from mobile devices—and even from the next version of Windows. Find out why those familiar desktop widgets are weak replacements for manipulating content directly, and learn to craft touchscreen interfaces that effortlessly teach users new gesture vocabularies. The challenge: gestures are invisible, without the visual cues offered by buttons and menus. As your touchscreen app sheds buttons, how do people figure out how to use the damn thing? Learn to lead your audience by the hand (and fingers) with practical techniques that make invisible gestures obvious. Designer Josh Clark (author of O'Reilly books "Tapworthy" and "Best iPhone Apps") mines a variety of surprising sources for interface inspiration and design patterns. Along the way, discover the subtle power of animation, why you should be playing lots more video games, and why a toddler is your best beta tester.

    Questions answered:
    1. How should UI layouts evolve to accommodate the ergonomics of fingers and thumbs?
    2. Why are buttons a hack? Why aren't they as effective as more direct touch gestures?
    3. How can users understand how to use apps that have no labeled menus or buttons?
    4. What's the proper role of skeuomorphic design (realistic 3D metaphors) in teaching touch?
    5. How can animation provide contextual help to teach gestures effortlessly? How does game design point the way here?

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Friday 9th March

    In Ballroom A, Austin Convention Center

Sunday 11th March 2012

  • Interface Technology: Gesture Systems and Beyond

    by Alex Olwal, Luis Francisco-Revilla, Brandt Westing, Karla Vega and Henry Holtzman

    In 1963 Douglas Englebart invented the first mouse prototype. Unfortunately for him, the devices took so long to become widely used that he didn’t get the recognition he deserved and received no royalties for his contribution. Can you imagine using a computer without a mouse these days? Well, if you think about it, maybe you can - you’re one of the hundreds of millions of people that use touch-pads on laptops and desktops.

    This is just the beginning of what is possible today. Better yet, the bright future in computer interfaces lies beyond touch; space-based gestures made possible with computer vision is a reality and will be featured in future operating systems. We’re seeing the beginning of this trend with the Microsoft Kinect, but if you think that all that can come from this is dancing in front of your computer to make the mouse cursor move, you might be surprised. This panel session will discuss current technologies in computer interfaces from touch tables to high-resolution visualization environments, and what is possible now in research environments.

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Sunday 11th March

    In Salon H, Hilton Austin Downtown

    Coverage audio clip