Dexterity in Mobile Design
(photo by flickr user Taniwha)
Relatively speaking, I’m a dinosaur. A dying breed. I still carry around with me a separate laptop, cellphone, PDA. Micro-camera and micro-player. I’ve become attached to each for it’s own unique merits – the form factor of one, the cool display options of another. All fine and good, but that’s a lot of hardware to lug around. Even if they all start with “micro”.
Today’s range of gadgets-de-jour is likely a synthesis of all of the above, and combines functions across processing platforms that I’ll never fully grasp. As we untether ourselves and pursue our mobile future, aided by our miniscule appliances of life, we are faced with the new dilemma – how to do more with much less (beyond how to get my chubby little thumbs to hit the right keys on my micro QWERTY).
In the landscape of high-tech mini-objects, functionality is key, and as we are exposed to more options competing for our disposable income dollars, we are fast becoming discerning critics of the high design of high functionality.
That’s the message the SF chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Artists is joining forces with Apple to communicate as part of a series of on-going workshop discussions. Hosted in the Apple Computer store near Union Square, this week the AIGA presents Punchcut, an interactive design development firm which specializes in partnering with gadget manufacturers, program interface creators, and leading industry participants to enable design solutions that address our rapidly increasing expectations of mobile-product user experience.
Maybe I’ll never give up my function-specific gadgets and become an official ‘early-adopter’ of brand-spanking-new technologies, but knowing that there are designers out there who are creating the future with ease of functionality in mind gives me hope that when my 4 year old candybar cellphone finally does go on the fritz, I’ll be able to replace it with one that multi-functions AND accomodates my dexterous-yet-chunky digits.