My daily readings 04/20/2010

  • tags: ipad, design

  • tags: Chirp

  • tags: Internet of Things

  • tags: iPad, design

    • The page flipping animation in the iBooks app though? Super cheesy. It’s like in the early days of cars where they built them to look like horse-drawn carriages. Can’t we just scroll?
    • I have to say I’ve come to dislike page flipping on the phone. I’m not certain why, but at least part of it might be the small punt of content per page. Another part might be the horse-head-on-front-of-a-car curling page animation, when a simple slide would be less intrusive.
    • The Page Flip Must Be Extremely Fast
      If you’re going to use an animation, the page flip most be almost instantaneous.  If you’re going to have to flip thousands of times, a too-slow animation is going to feel like a little papercut every time.

      But this demo shows that the animation completes extremely quickly.
    • The Page Flip Must Be Easy
      Forcing a user to drag a finger to initiate a flip every time is unacceptable. I experienced this with early versions of the Kindle iPhone app and it was maddening.  A page flip must be triggered even in the case of a single tap on the side of the screen. Again, Apple got this right.
    • Easy: page layout and never having to wonder where to continue reading. Each page can be designed as self-contained units, with precise placement of copy, columns, spacing, and media such as images and video.  The integrity of the page layout is kept intact, and when your eye reads to the bottom right of a page, you press a button and always know to look at the top left to continue reading.

      The scrolling fans argue that you should be able to know where you are.  You should never blink, or accidentally flick the screen causing your place to be sent some number of pages back. You should precisely drag the text to the exact place where you want to keep reading, carefully, each time.
    • • Something that most scrolly apps are terrible at: Getting from one part of a long document to another. With pagey apps, at least you can jump to a page number, although that (like the curling page animation) smacks of an outdated metaphor. Maybe both models could be well-served by something more like Cover Flow’s behavior.
    • As for location, I find scrolling much more indicative of location than page flip. I scroll as I read, so that the entire screen is always filled with unread content. When I come back to a scrollable screen, I know exactly where to start reading again. With pages, I have to remember where on the page I left off, which means rereading up to a full page.
    • I think a really good implementation of page flipping is the Stanza app from Lexcycle (now part of Amazon) on the iPhone. The default turn effect is redundant, but the slide effect is pretty well done–I get a sense of where I’m going (left or right), all content has a fixed location in the book, and it’s easy to go back or go forward, with a slider to help when advancing multiple pages. Ultimately, it feels natural and requires less work.
    • Another benefit of page flips is the the graphic design constraints it imposes.

      Having an endless page in every direction makes it difficult to design a self-contained layout. You have to keep part of the design in your head as you peer through a pinhole into a small fragment of the content.

      But printed magazines can use edges and the dimensions of the page to great effect.

      The iPad is a great opportunity to design around a device with a fixed size display. Everyone who uses it will be viewing the same content. No font worries or screen size variations such as are common on the desktop.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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