I'm interested in touch interfaces and in how to make them useful and usable. I work in the usability group at Synaptics and we do usability work of many styles, ranging from quick heuristic evaluations to formal human-computer interaction research studies. Synaptics makes touchpads for notebook computers, clear touch interfaces for mobile phones, and other interface technologies. (Anything I write here is my personal opinion and responsibility rather than that of Synaptics.)
What I'm hoping to post here:
- pointers to popular news and reviews of products with touch interfaces,
- news of academic and industry research on touch input and related technologies, particularly from the fields of HCI, usability engineering, and design,
- commentary on the above and hopefully some original insights of interest to other people.
Touch interfaces are getting more popular, which is great because when done well they offer a vastly better user experience than other technologies. But it's very easy to do them badly, and sometimes they're not the best choice. Usability is all about testing technologies with real users to try to avoid those mistakes. Here's a recent New York Times article about what usability professionals do: Technology's untanglers.