5 June 2009

Mobile gesture design at Nokia – developing a new dialect of interaction

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Younghee and Joe
The field of mobile gestures is a fascinating one that Nokia is keenly exploring and researching, with explorative designers Younghee Jung and Dan Macleod on the frontline.

Last week the people of Nokia Conversations had the opportunity to chat to them at The Inside Story design day in London about their ideas on mobile gesture design, the research they’ve been doing, and the tools that have been developed to help test how well future mobile gestures might work.

“As part of their fieldwork they ask people from many countries and a broad spectrum of cultures to play out scenarios of how they might perform a task with a gesture that feels natural to them, using simple plastic mono block phones as props.

They set out a series of tasks for people, such as silencing a ringing phone. Sure, the flip-to-silence gesture is already alive in a number of devices, such as the Nokia 8800 and N97, but it was great to hear examples of some of the physical gestures people suggested in their research. A few of my favourites that Younghee and Joe mentioned were people wanting to squeeze the phone to shut it up, while others put their index finger over their mouth to shush it or simply covered the phone with their hand. The strangest, but my pick of the bunch was simply staring at your phone with a rather annoyed look, as if it were a naughty child that needs to be quiet.”

In a video interview they talk about the creation of the gesture phone prototype that they use to explore this new dialect of physical interaction designed to let you perform tasks and communicate in very new ways.

Read full story (with video interview)

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