03 August 2013

Co.Design: “Google’s New Phone: A Lesson In The Dangers Of Gesture-Heavy UIs”

But we’ve increasingly seen the need for tutorials when introducing an app’s set of tools--the digital equivalent of IT manuals. While these tutorials are lightweight and easy to understand--usually displayed as a transparent overlay atop of your app--they’ve started to feel more like a football coach’s playbook, with arrows and lines delineating directions. Sometimes they’re worth the lesson--Paper’s iPad app, for example, teaches us to move our finger in a counter-clockwise motion to rewind through our history--but they also can often feel unintuitive. Requiring a user to twist his or her arm--twice, rapidly--to launch a camera? That’s perhaps going too far: You’ll start to feel like Harry Potter learning a new wand motion at Hogwarts to play a trick on Draco Malfoy. Austin Carr

Pretty ridiculous indeed. I fail to see how this gesture can be any faster than clicking on the ‘Home’ button and swiping up to start the camera. If you want to capture a quick snapshot, this gesture actually works against you: it’s pretty uncommon to twist arms in public – are you trying to scare off insects? waving at someone? – so other people will notice the sudden movement in the peripheral vision and turn your way, altering the scene you’re trying to capture. Not to mention shaking your wrist means you will then have to bring the phone back in front of your face and frame the shot – whereas with an iPhone you can already point the camera in the general direction while the app loads.

Moto X - Quick Capture
Moto X - Always Ready

Also, why isn’t the activation phrase ‘Hello, Moto’?!

Hello Moto

Another problem: accidental activation:

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