Mobile Interface (in progress)
Up to date progress on my blog



Research
There have been many innovations in the mobile user interface space in the recent years. The introduction of the touchscreen have allowed designers to develop interfaces that are more interactive than previously possible. However, for the most part, most mobile operating systems are similar in the way applications are launched.


There is one mobile operating system that was a source of inspiration for this project, the now extinct Palm WebOS. WebOS is the most intuitive and natural mobile operating systems I have used. The entire interface is designed to be moved through using gestures as opposed to buttons as often as possible. This led to an extremely easy to navigate and operate interface. It felt quicker to access what was needed on WebOS than other operating systems. Above all, it just felt good to use. Below is a photo of the quick app launcher that is used to launch apps from the home screen.


One area that I see a gap in is using how people interact with their phones to determine the UI design. The natural position of the thumb when using a phone is pointing to the top left corner from the bottom right. This is assuming the user is right handed. The natural movement of the thumb is swiping in an arc shaped as showed below.


Interface Design
I wanted to take advantage of this area and I thought about how unnatural it feels to open an app on most phones, the most common task most people do. So I decided to create some kind of app launcher that uses the thumb area to it's full potential. The end result is below. By swiping onto to the top right corner from off the screen the user pulls the launcher onto the screen, swipes back and forth to desired app, and lifts the thumb to select and open the app.
(After taking a break from this concept I came back to it at a recent hackathon.)

To develop this concept further I decided that I needed to come structure my intent. Without doing this, I feel like I won't be able to critically assess the decisions I'm making. Because I still wanted to focus more on the interactions as a concept rather than an application, I decided to structure it as a simple camera app. It will not have any fancy features, just the options that you would find on most stock phone cameras.

Below are screenshots of the most recent iteration of this concept implemented as a camera. I'm in the process of making a video to show how the ribbon slides onto the screen and the interface is used.



(Progress can be found here.)