Digital marketing: The rise of touch screens and leap motion
The mouse is undeniably one of the most essential tools and has dominated as an input device since 1972. The hardware through which we interface is as equally important as the device to which we are interfacing.
But the recent technological achievements, particularly in digital marketing, clearly show us that this tailed pointing device has to go sooner or later. It makes us aware of the fact that we have been holding on to a less smarter device for more than three long decades. But what bigger advancement can we have with the Clicker device than making it optical or going wireless and make it more comfortable. Don’t you think we need a better way to interface?
As you are reading this, you will be clicking and scrolling top and bottom. But you also have an alternative way i.e. touch scrolling when you are using a mobile or tablet ,using a track pad in your notebooks and laptops. Take a minute to ask yourself which mode you prefer in terms of comfort – a mouse or a track pad or a touch device?
To gain logical answers I conducted an a A/B testing with the help of two subjects.
Subject A: My 87 year old gamer Grandma Mrs Pankajam who can kill me in a 9:1 ratio in Gears of War 2 and who is also efficient in teaching her newborn granddaughter using her Ipad 4 Ramayana (an Indian epic) apps. But when asked to use the mouse, I find that she displays signs of difficulty not unlike what she experienced with her mother-in-law!
Subject B: Neighbor and Angry Birds fanatic, 5 year old Master Martin who has an unbeaten record of the highest mobile gaming points in the entire locality .When he was asked to communicate with his uncle using the computer he was quite good in typing but struggled when he had to use the mouse for the first time.
My point is new users don’t find electronic mice as comfortable as other touch devices. Else let me put it this way – the mouse is not as simple as other interfacing digital devices.
If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” – Albert Einstein
My theory is further supported by statistical information which states that global mobile data traffic grew 70 percent in 2012 and tablet sales have started affecting sale of notebooks and laptops (source: cisco visual Networking analysis).
Its like a new survival theory where wild smartphones are eating up all other digital devices. Tablets are preying on laptops and laptops in turn prey on desktop computers. In fact only more technology professionals and geeks purchase desktops today.
The portable devices market has succeeded so well not only because of mobility and high specification, it’s also because you already know how to use it. All these smart phones and tablets are ideal for digital marketing professionals and their audiences as they provide all the same basic functions as a laptop, including internet browsing, emails and other constructive applications.As quoted by Mr Gates once, users of the future will interact with their machines by voice and pen as well as touch.
As in case of current scenario of responsive design, designers have pointers in mind for desktops and finger for mobile end users . When the PC market it is already decreasing, Leap Motion the new motion sensor devices has already started shipping for consumer market for PC and Mac. Though this Xbox kinect kind of device is currently limited, we are not far from exploring its full capabilities .So designers now have the additional task of making the web or apps Leap motion friendly.
Lets leave aside the fact that Leap Motion has launched in a big way. Last week when Galaxy S4 was launched, it was preceded by rumors that it had an eye-tracking device where we could scroll pages through our very own eyeball moments. Though the rumors were trashed when the device launched with a head motion sensor, the possibility of these rumors coming true are not far away. So designers who don’t want to redesign their page in the next 3 to 5 years should be aware of these technologies in mind and design keeping in mind motionless sensors.
Recently my friend and a dribble superstar Marko Dugonjić recently created a demo page which incorporated responsive head motion for the web. You can find the page here.
So a designer with better User experience in mind should shed the traditional theories like Fitts’s Rule which was a huge hit in the 90s and early 2000 and was considered one of the fundamentals for better user experience.
What does it really say:
“the larger a target, the faster it is to acquire”
“the closer a target, the faster it is to acquire”
But these laws were written before you could tweet with your Nexus mobile .
When Visual User Experience is threatened by voice responsive technology like “Siri” or “Google Now” , it’s every designer’s responsibility to have a farsighted view for his clients’ benefit. Remember, in 2011 to 2012 we saw multiple websites being redesigned to responsive versions.
Thinking outside design threats, what would you design for Google Glass or the much expected iWatch?
Want to learn more about the ins and outs of introducing and improving User Experience? Find out more through our services here