Blog posts of 2011
One of the most important considerations for a developer – when writing code for an application or website – is to ensure a good level of usability, a task quite difficult as more often than not users have their… own way of classifying usability in applications and consequently turning them into favorites or not.
UX has become a complex task, almost a science in the tech world and software companies need to embrace this. Many do not pay as much attention as they should and do not offer assistance or tools to their developers, the driving force for their applications. Nonetheless, many are starting to realize that paying attention to UX is the way forward if they want to be successful in today’s tech markets.
Most current OSs, devices and application frameworks impose certain usability standards to developers, in a sense assisting the latter to maintain a good level of user friendliness but at the same time ensuring uniformity which it self, provides a sense of cohesion, compliance and… well, usability! If the environment itself does not provide an adequate level of usability, the user is going to turn down applications within, no matter how well designed they are.
It is quite promising that manufacturers are starting to embrace UX as an important factor to the success of their products – what the authors consider to be the most important contribution of Steve Jobs, as we will argue in a future post – by starting to provide guidelines for GUI and functionality development. This has direct consequences to both users and developers. Developers can do their job faster and less costly when guided, while the benefits from the attention given to the aesthetics, user friendliness and better performance.
An article on usabilitygeek.com is trying to gather most usability guidelines from major vendors and manufacturers. It is not a complete guide, but it is a very good start. You can read the article here.
WebAPI is basically an idea from Mozilla which promises to bridge the gap between native and web applications.
This can be done by using, for example Phonegap (iOS, Android, Blackberry OS, WebOS, WP7, Symbian & Bada) which is quite popular, or write an app and put it under the Cocoa Touch iPhone App Wrapper which will make it a native app.
Now… Mozilla’s idea on bridging the gap between native apps and web applications is quite different from frameworks like the aforementioned Phonegap because the purpose of WebAPI is not merely to make native applications but to reach low-level functionality of a device using HTML5.
Of course, if Mozilla wants this to be a success, it has to be adopted by companies like Google, Apple and Microsoft. So Mozilla has to, first and foremost, convince users it is the way forward. For the time being they are hiring developers for it.
We may have been silent for April with unrelated to work obstacles but we are back on track. Here is a summary of some noteworthy things we came across this month in inverse chronological order.
- A TechWatch report on Augmented Reality for Smartphones is now available: Augmented Reality for Smartphones [PDF Link] . The report was commissioned by JISC Observatory and written by Ben Butchart from EDINA, based at the University of Edinburgh.
- Layar’s Raimo van der Klein gives a talk on computer vision – The Birth of The Digital Eye
- Fraunhofer IPMS announced some nifty HMD related toys, a prototype of the world’s first bidirectional, eye-tracking OLED microdisplay Endgadget: Eye-tracking microdisplay delivers Terminator vision, distracts joggers
- Vuzix goes hand in hand with Metaio and DARPA, making us hope for some real advancement in display tech in immersive systems. – Vuzix and metaio Partner to Deliver Augmented Reality Solutions to Customers – Vuzix Awarded DARPA Development Contract for Next Generation Display Technology
- Tish Shute writes about ARE2011 on the way!
- Etsuji’s CV & AR Mindmap – The link is here
- Games Alfresco has a listing of AR Games you must play!