onsdag 23 september 2009

Nice PoS application in Germany

I just found a video of a retail, position of sales, Surface application in Germany. It looks like it is at the telephone company O2 made by Syzygy. When will we see the first publicly available Surface application in Sweden?

tisdag 15 september 2009

360 degree UI – always a good thing?

Since Microsoft Surface has the form of a table it offers a unique way of social interaction around a computer. Users can sit around the table and participate on equal terms. To be able to achieve this, the designers and developers must focus very hard on creating a user interface and a user experience that supports 360 degree user interface. This, I would say, is one of the biggest challenges for a team building successful applications for Microsoft Surface and something that we always focus on early in the design process.

Yesterday I attended a Surface workshop were we planned an application that might have an advisor-client user profile. With that I mean one professional sitting on one side of the table and the client(s) sitting on the other side. It could be in a bank with an employee and a client or at health facility with a physician and a patient. Based on our previous experiences we still focused on a 360 degree user interface but in that context, is that really necessary? Couldn’t it be okay to have the user interface mainly focus the unfrequent users, i.e. the client or patient?

I think so! And today I saw a video of a banking application that does exactly that. Take a look at Hawanedo Surface from Figlo. They have created an application for the financial industry to offer financial advice on Microsoft Surface. The user interface is entirely facing the two clients at the bank and I believe that is great in that context. If you were to build an application like that with 360 degree user interface chances are that you would end up with a worse outcome.

So when designing application for Microsoft Surface, think about the physical context of where the application will exist and how your users will be placed around the table when they interact with it. Also don’t just create individual personas but also groups of personas and design the application for them.

Hopefully I will be able to tell you more about the application that we are planning in the near future.

onsdag 9 september 2009

Share your Surface experience

A good sign for a growing developer community is when new tools pop up and experiences are shared in the open. Lately more and more developers have gotten in touch with Microsoft Surface, and it has resulted in several code projects on Codeplex. I want to digitally high five the teams for sharing their work with us. In my opinion the fastest way to a mature developer community is through sharing knowledge and experience, which is exactly what the Surface and NUI community needs.

A quite usuful project web is the Surface Academy 2009 Toolkit. On the project web the Microsoft Surface Academy has put up a couple of controls and a card game starter kit. Thank you, guys!

måndag 7 september 2009

Alive again

When I wrote my last blogpost about Surface our unit was dead. That was before the summer but now we are back on track again. The unit got replaced by Microsoft and our new SP1-unit is now up and running again at Connectas head quarters in Stockholm. There is still some work to do to get every application installed again but most of the work has already been done by a colleague of mine. Last week I conducted a demo for a group of people at a large Swedish company which was really fun. I think it sparked many thoughts among the participants. Before the demo I Connecta-branded the Music and Photos app and did the final install of Sonicspree.

Regarding Sonicspree there has been some development over the summer. Some of the work was regarding bug fixes but most importantly, virtual dice! So now the application can be started without the fantastic dice that Ergonomidesign created for Sonicspree to From Business to Buttons. This facilitates a lot because it has previously been a bit sensitive to where we store the dice.

This fall we will have two more or less public appearances with Surface. The first is at Microsoft Parter Summit on the first of October at Kistamässan in Kista, Stockholm, Sweden. We will be there with our Surface to show Sonicspree to the masses and where we also will attend .NET Awards. I hope that every reader will take a minute to place a vote for us here. Seriously, it takes less than a minute!

The other event we will attend is Sign Scandinavia in November but more information on that later.

Internally we have been working on a demo together with SAP on Surface. I personally haven’t been involved in the development of the application but there is some form of SAP/Connecta-event on Wednesday so I think the project should be done really soon.

This was just a short update to let you all know that we don’t have a dead Surface anymore but one that is alive and kicking.