The varying ways in which people prefer to interact with their devices highly depend upon their natural tendencies, their comfort levels, and the context of use. As designers and developers, we need to understand these influences and offer user interfaces that ap- peal to these needs.
User preferences may range from inputting data using physical keys, natural handwriting, or other gestural behaviors. Some users may prefer to receive information with an eyes- off-screen approach, and instead relying on haptics or audible notifications.
This part of the book will discuss in detail the different mobile methods and controls users can interact with to access apartnd receive information.
The types of input and output we will discuss are subdivided into the following chapters:
Chapter 9, Text and Character Input
Chapter 10, General Interactive Controls
Chapter 11, Input and Selection
Chapter 12, Audio and Vibration
Chapter 13, Screens, Lights, and Sensors
Types of Input & Output
Text and Character Input
Whether they are sending an email, sending an SMS message, searching, or filling out forms, users require ways to input both text and characters. Such methods may be through keyboards and keypads, as well as pen control. Regardless, these methods must work very efficiently in performance while limiting input errors.
General Interactive Controls
Functions on the device and in the interface are influenced by a series of controls. They may be keys arrayed around the periphery of the device, or they may be controlled by gestural behaviors. Users must be able to find, understand, and easily learn these control types.
Input and Selection
Users require methods to enter and remove text and other character-based information without restriction. Many times users are filling out forms or selecting information from lists. At any time, they may also need to make quick, easy changes to remove contents from these fields or from entire forms.
Audio and Vibration
Our mobile devices are not always in plain sight. They may be across the room, or placed deep in our pockets. When important notifications occur, users need to be alerted. Using audio and vibration as notifiers and forms of feedback can be very effective.
Screens, Lights, and Sensors
Mobile devices today are equipped with a range of technologies meant to improve our in- teractive experiences. These devices may be equipped with advanced display technology to improve viewability while offering better battery life, and incorporate location-based services integrated within other applications.
You now have a general sense of the types of input and output we will discuss in this part of the book. The following chapters will provide you with specific information on theory and tactics, and will illustrate examples of appropriate design patterns you can apply to specific situations in the mobile space.
Next: Text and Character Input
Discuss & Add
Please do not change content above this line, as it's a perfect match with the printed book. Everything else you want to add goes down here.
If you want to add examples (and we occasionally do also) add them here.
Make a new section
Just like this. If, for example, you want to argue about the differences between, say, Tidwell's Vertical Stack, and our general concept of the List, then add a section to discuss. If we're successful, we'll get to make a new edition and will take all these discussions into account.