TouchID Gesture Input

Apple Watch's new digital crown allows users to scroll and cycle through content without fingers obstructing the screen. It's a lot like the classic iPod click wheel.

In order to bring the same UI elements to the iPhone, Apple can use the capacitive sensors within the TouchID home button to capture gesture input. Simply trace your finger around the metal rim of the home button in order to scroll or cycle through the content on your iPhone's screen.

Dear Whole Foods, Don't Toss This In The Compost Pile!

I typically come into the store around 9:30pm every 3-4 nights and this is what I see in the hot food section.

There's an awful lot of delicious looking food sitting in those warming trays, and very few customers buying it. Your employees have indicated that it all gets thrown into the compost pile at the end of the night because donating hot food comes with a lot of legal risk, which I understand. But I believe there is way more value in that food...

What if every night after 8pm, you charged a flat rate of $10 per plate with all proceeds benefiting the Whole Planet Foundation? The majority of that food was going to get tossed into the compost pile anyway, so why not put it to good use and turn it into a positive thing for your organization?

At stores that serve alcohol, like the Plymouth Meeting location, you could even host happy hours around it - you'd get alcohol sales, the organization gets the food plate money and awareness. It's a win-win!

At the very least, it might be worth experimenting with this concept to see how it impacts food sales and traffic numbers.

Dear Apple: A new way to do "new"



Scott Sanchez is encouraging me to express my UX mojo in public, so rather than sending him my ideas on google chat I'm going to blog about them.  Today it's about the "new" action that's in nearly every single iOS app.

It's different in every single iOS app.  In twitter, click the little pencil box icon at the top right.  In mail, it's at the bottom right.  In Facebook it's the 'status' button at the top middle.  There's no consistency to user experience, and that annoys me.

My solution is that Apple should create a "swipe up" gesture the same way "swipe down" in iOS5 is for notifications, swipe up will become the action in any participating app to create "new".  New tweet, new email, new facebook status message, new SMS, etc.

App developers of course can do this today without waiting for Apple, but maybe the boys in Cupertino will read this and do the right thing for iOS6. :)

Try the "swipe up" next time you want to do something "new" in one of your apps, you'll like it, and that's what UX is all about.

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I'm the Don Draper of user experience.  Other people build it, I dream it.  Hire me. :)

How do you get a hold of Siri, your personal assistant?

MacRumors had an interesting article earlier today about iOS 5's new "Raise to Speak" setting which launches the Siri personal assistant app when you hold the iPhone 4S up to your ear.  The default way to launch Siri is with an extended press of the home button.  Both feel like acceptable ways to interact with a first-gen voice interface.

Later in the day I put a call to my bank on speaker phone and noticed how I was holding my iPhone as I navigated their voice tree ("PUT ME THROUGH TO A GOD DAMN REP" isn't a valid option in case you were wondering).  I was holding the phone upside down, talking directly into the mic just like I'm doing in the picture.  Whenever I talk *AT* my phone, this is the most natural way for me to hold it.  To prevent accidental activation when the phone is in a pocket or bag, require a quick tap of the volume button when the phone is turned upside down.  Apple recently repurposed a volume button to act as shutter release in the camera app so using it for something other than volume control might not be out of the question.

I also thought about having the iPhone listen for a specific voice command when turned upside down, perhaps "Siri".

::flips phone:: "Siri, do you think Apple would have users say your name every time they want to interact with you?"

"Probably not." It has a very robotic, sci-fi feel to it, something you'd expect to see in a Droid Bionic commercial.

Apple is really good at training users slowly transitioning user behaviour so expect Siri to get a more natural feel over time.

::flips phone:: "Siri, is this an acceptable way to end the post?"

"Probably not."