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Ask Slashdot: Where Is the Universal Gesture Navigation Set?

timothy posted about 3 years ago | from the which-finger-does-what? dept.

GUI 177

dstates writes "As a mostly happy new iPad owner, I love having lots of apps, but I have got to ask, where is the universal set of gestures for navigation? Pinch and open mostly mean zoom out and in, but sometimes you tap to open, sometimes double tap. Sometimes right swipe is back, sometimes there is a back button, sometimes you just have to go to home and navigate back down. Reminds me of the early days of GUIs when every application had its own menu set with different top-level menus and different placement of various functions. Made life chaos for users. We have been there, done that, and gestures are much worse. At least with a menu, you had a printed tag you could read. Gestures are all magic handshakes until you know them. Seems like the tablet community should not have to learn the value of consistency all over again." What gestures would you like to see made standard in touch-based interfaces?

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177 comments

single finger solute (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35847968)

i want to be able to flick off my tablet and have it grant root access to me. or at least make me a sandwich.

Re:single finger solute (2)

oliverthered (187439) | about 3 years ago | (#35848316)

You need a phone/tablet with a front facing camera or kenetic support for that.

Flops out todger, porn pops up on hands free tablet (I call it a PC), todger pops up, phone starts vibrating

You insensitive clod! (2)

PPH (736903) | about 3 years ago | (#35848376)

In the USA we don't have todgers!

Re:You insensitive clod! (4, Funny)

oliverthered (187439) | about 3 years ago | (#35848492)

dictionary says that both spined and spineless animals have them.

Re:You insensitive clod! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35849350)

I tried to look it up in my dictionary and it was like, "WTF is a todger? Do you mean toddler, codger, dodger or lodger?"

Same problem with the missus... (5, Funny)

Aphrika (756248) | about 3 years ago | (#35847974)

Sometimes I poke her and get a giggle. Other times, a slap.

Re:Same problem with the missus... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35848678)

Wait, this seems to be a common bug in all women, has someone filed a bug report?

Re:Same problem with the missus... (4, Informative)

Imrik (148191) | about 3 years ago | (#35848790)

It's a feature not a bug, we'd know that if we could ever find the manual.

That's easy! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35847988)

Just right click!

my interest (3)

anonymous9991 (1582431) | about 3 years ago | (#35848026)

when I first got into computer science my interest was at its all time high, years later the lack of standards (especially web development), have annoyed me so much I really don't want to code at all or look at code outside of work. Why can't we code once for all browsers? why can't database queries be more standardized? Why couldn't ms / *nix use common EOF and other attributes since they have known about each other for decades now? why do I need a 68 in 1 card reader ( I suspect to get more money out of me than a 5-1 in card reader) Why does every electronic device needs its own adapter? I could go on and on as it seems everything invented has to have its own connectors and way of doing things. Seriously coding would be so easy with some real standards

Re:my interest (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35848130)

why do I need a 68 in 1 card reader ( I suspect to get more money out of me than a 5-1 in card reader) Why does every electronic device needs its own adapter?

On this note, (if you haven't already heard), the European Union are forcing a standardised mobile phone charger to be brought in, with all mobile phone manufacturers having to support it and no patents or trade secrets to prevent cheap generic chargers.

That's the kind of stuff we need tbh, proper governmental regulation, businesses will fight tooth-and-nail to avoid standardisation if they think they can make more money (and there will always be at least one business who opposes it, if only to keep their monopoly from actually having to face fair competition)

Re:my interest (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 3 years ago | (#35848198)

IM really interested in both how Apple handles this and also what the definition of 'phone' will be.

Re:my interest (0)

Cederic (9623) | about 3 years ago | (#35848958)

So far, by pissing off their customers.

Random girl in office: Anybody got an iPhone charger
Me: here, try my Nokia one. Oh.
Friend: here, try my HTC one. Oh.
Friend2: here, try my Blackberry one. Oh.
Friend3: how about my Sennheiser headset one. Oh.

All four of us can (and do) interchange chargers at will. They all use the same connector, they all operate within sufficiently close power input range, they all run happily from mains or a USB port..

But hey, Apple.

Re:my interest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35849230)

Do you also interchange body fluids at will?

Re:my interest (2)

node 3 (115640) | about 3 years ago | (#35849252)

Right, because iPod dock connectors are so rare...

Apple will address this (if they have to) with a dock connector to mini/micro (whichever one the regulation mandates) USB adapter. It's possible, but I don't think very likely, that they'll actually add another dedicated port.

Re:my interest (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35849410)

You can get iPhone USB cables for very cheap ($2) from third party vendors and happily charge your iPhone off of any USB port, I buy several and keep them stashed all over the place. Plus a USB charge jack for my car (also from a 3rd party, nothing from Apple). I agree a USB mini-jack on the phone would be more convenient but not by much.

Re:my interest (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | about 3 years ago | (#35848436)

Yeah we totally need the European government making decisions for us all...

Re:my interest (1)

indeterminator (1829904) | about 3 years ago | (#35848534)

Yeah we totally need the European government making decisions for us all...

The mobile phone manufacturers managed to come up with the standard all by themselves. Admittedly, it was after a slight hint from EU that if the industry won't standardize itself, a standard will be forced...

Re:my interest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35848576)

I guess as long as you don't count Apple as a mobile phone manufacturer. As they haven't managed to go with the standard.

Re:my interest (2, Informative)

vakuona (788200) | about 3 years ago | (#35849068)

Apple charges off USB quite easily, as do most smartphones nowadays. IIRC, the standard is USB based, so all Apple needs is a way to connect their USB/Dock connector to s standard wall plug thingy, and they are good to go. The standard doesn't quite mandate what the connection on the phone looks like.

Re:my interest (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35848686)

We could standardize.. but thank god we don't or it ends up being unsuccessful. While it is perfectly good for certain safety and civil related stuff, we generally have almost enough effective standardization processes there anyway.

Standardizing most of the other areas that you talk about (consumer electronics interfaces for instance), you might as well just join your local militant socialist movement of lame ass slacktivist revolutionaries and jerk off to ISO standardized german scat porn.

If we standardize on all this stuff, are you going to have a streamlined process for small orgs and individuals to "break" compatibility to introduce improvements into the market? No? Then kiss goodbye any kind of innovation, while you are outpaced by your less idiotic societies and your smart ones leave to less retarded shores. Yes? Well you can't have your cake and eat it too (though Europeans are determined to find a way). You allow people the freedom, they will use it, and things get messy. There is a cost of allowing easy innovation, and it is pretty close to what we have now.

I'm biased towards the latter, but I'm just an ugly American, after all. Now if only the US can figure out that both lack of standards and lack of innovation is a bad thing...

As to your problem. Why the fuck do you care? Why does it matter that there are few universal standards in web dev. Just make your damn website or your program or whatever. Make it with MS SQL and ASP.net if you want [harvard.edu] and if that's what works. Leave the navel-gazing wankers here, and get to work.

Re:my interest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35849276)

when I first got into computer science my interest was at its all time high, years later the lack of standards (especially web development), have annoyed me so much I really don't want to code at all or look at code outside of work. Why can't we code once for all browsers?

uh, just FYI, that isn't computer science. (Where is the science?? Sounds like what you got there is web development. You're a developer, a coder, a programmer... hold your head high! There is no need to self-depricate by calling it computer science.

Too early... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35848048)

I think it's too early to tell...or to have a Universal anything on gestures. "Traditional" GUIs were refined over time, by trial-and-error and improvements over previous attemps. Designers, programmers, and users are still getting used to the gestured world in terms of what can be done to get things done. So I guess for right now were in a sort of platypus stage.

--ODL

Re:Too early... (1)

zippthorne (748122) | about 3 years ago | (#35848206)

True. Although I wish that the mobile safari browser supported at least the same set of gestures that the osx safari browser supports; e.g. the three-finger swipes for back/forward, and four-finger swipes for page-up/page-dn, etc. I don't think it's too much to ask, since Apple makes both products...

Next gen touchless pads (1)

goombah99 (560566) | about 3 years ago | (#35848472)

I think that there is going to come at some point a next generation of touchless pads. These will be able to sense the positions of fingers above the pad. THis will give a more rich potential for gestures.

While it obviously enlarges the potential pallette I think it will actually lead to a simplification. This is because you will be able to use these gestures on vertically oriented desktop screens and also because gestures can be less abstract and more like what they are gesturing about. That is whole hand positions not just finget tips.

I would bet that is about 5 years away then a few years for market penetration. so there may be time to create 2-D touch gesture sets now but they will be gone in 10 years.

Isn't the problem patents? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35848054)

Isn't one of the problems patents? Apple has patented their whole gesture model so thus nobody else can use it and so everybody else comes up with something else.

Re:Isn't the problem patents? (2)

peragrin (659227) | about 3 years ago | (#35848090)

that is what palm did at least. I wouldn't be surprised if apple did too.

we really have to ban patents on non physical inventions. they just cause more problems than they solve.

Re:Isn't the problem patents? (2, Funny)

The End Of Days (1243248) | about 3 years ago | (#35848448)

No, the only problems they seem to cause is that they make it harder for people to just rip something off and give it away when somebody else did the hard work of creating it already - which is actually the exact reason we have patents in the first place.

Re:Isn't the problem patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35848734)

Horay for patents!

Re:Isn't the problem patents? (2)

Rob Y. (110975) | about 3 years ago | (#35849312)

It is really weird to think of touch gestures as 'inventions'. They're more akin to words in sign language. What's the purpose of language if it's not allowed to become universal. Apple has the best word for 'enlarge', Palm has the best word for 'delete', but nobody has a decent overall language, and patents will prevent any from emerging. It's nuts.

And how about this limitation: "there shall be no patents granted for simulations of existing real-world objects or inventions". It's the act of simulating something on a computer that's inventive - not the specific simulation. And computer simulations of the real world are old enough to be non-patentable. No more patents on 'tabbed folders', 'progress bars' and the like. Computer interfaces are just a way of mapping the world onto a 2D screen. Doing it in the first place was inventive, the specifics are uninteresting.

Any standard is better than no standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35848064)

Sure, it'd be great to see a universal standard being agreed upon... and then see Microsoft's botched up version of it with their proprietary seven finger gestures for "additional functionality".

Too gay (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35848072)

As a mostly happy new iPad owner, I love having lots of apps

Too gay; didn't read

Re:Too gay (0, Troll)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 3 years ago | (#35848290)

Only a person who's gay but can't admit it would find a statement like that "too gay", because it's not gay at all. You are. Learn to enjoy it.

Re:Too gay (-1, Flamebait)

oliverthered (187439) | about 3 years ago | (#35848354)

I really pissed off old iPad owner, I hate having lots of different gestures.

Sounds much more like a good read.

Definitions of gay on the Web:

cheery: bright and pleasant; promoting a feeling of cheer; "a cheery hello"; "a gay sunny room"; "a sunny smile"

Re:Too gay (0, Troll)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 3 years ago | (#35848408)

Yeah and a "fag" is a cigarette or a bundle of sticks. A "nigger" is just a person from Niger. Right.

You're a child playing word games. Probably gay, as in homosexual, too, but won't admit it. Hence the word games.

Re:Too gay (0, Offtopic)

oliverthered (187439) | about 3 years ago | (#35848438)

Na, I'm trysexural, and your comasexual or some kind of weird being created by some alien monster in a jar, or did your parents disown you... hence no longer being their child.

A bundle of sticks is a faggot, it's also a bundle of meat. I suppose your a bit short in the latter and admitted it without realizing. hence comasexual.

RIGHT (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35848074)

you are telling right lolz . hahah ...

visit http://www.friendslovely.com

Bird (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35848100)

Not a particularly useful gesture but when they understand it and cuss back we'll know the iPad has achieved an important milestone on the path to passing the Turing test.

Double tap to open (3, Insightful)

Loomismeister (1589505) | about 3 years ago | (#35848102)

In what bizarre app are you doing this. I've had one for a couple years and never heard of such a thing.

Re:Double tap to open (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35848182)

I think that he means you can double tap to zoom in some Apps.

Re:Double tap to open (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35848208)

A _couple_ years? As in, like a year before it was announced to the public?

Re:Double tap to open (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35848338)

As in, like a couple years after the iPhone was released to the public?

VNC and RDP (1)

tburke261 (981079) | about 3 years ago | (#35848126)

What about the problems of translating touch gestures to the "old-fashioned" mouse clicks and keyboard shortcuts? For VNC, RDP, etc?

Re:VNC and RDP (2)

coryking (104614) | about 3 years ago | (#35848442)

Even issh for that matter (still haven't figured out how to consistently copy in that app)?

I'd say RDP, the program, has some of the gestures figured out. Two finger tap = right click. Double tap= double click. The problem is how to translate things like "click, hold and drag" or "Slide the slider". A lot of that might be the protocol itself (doesn't windows have accessibility hooks so things know "this widget should behave like a scrollbar"?

I dunno. It is one of the reasons flash is not supported—those were designed for a mouse. A touch interface is a whole new ballgame that is uncharted water. There is no mouse, but there are perhaps ten fingers that can control an interface.

I think the game makers will be the ones to figure out how to exploit the possibilities. I have tons of games that would never work with a mouse.

Re:VNC and RDP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35848552)

Not only is it a whole new ball game, its also in uncharted waters?
Is it also in alpha centauri?

Re:VNC and RDP (1)

Graff (532189) | about 3 years ago | (#35848866)

The problem is how to translate things like "click, hold and drag" or "Slide the slider".

With Mac OS X and the trackpad that's handled by doing "tap, tap and drag". It seems to work pretty well so perhaps that's one that should be adopted more widely.

Way better than PCs. (3, Insightful)

MrCrassic (994046) | about 3 years ago | (#35848142)

Navigation on a tablet (or smartphone) OS across all the major ecosystems is leaps and bounds better than it is on the PC. Take the common action of opening a Control Panel for an application, for example. For many Windows applications, you'll find it underneath a "Tools" context menu. However, some applications that use alternative GUI toolkits (Qt, Gtk, etc.) will put it in the "Edit" context menu to stay consistent with Linux/OS X tradition. Then there are the applications that put it in weird places like "File" or something. An even better example is Firefox; one presses Backspace in Windows to go to the last page visited. The same action in Linux is ALT+left arrow. I think it's different in OS X too.

Re:Way better than PCs. (2)

Bogtha (906264) | about 3 years ago | (#35848374)

No, OS X is almost entirely standardised in this respect. To get to application preferences, you go to the application menu or hit cmd-comma. Pretty much the only applications where this doesn't work are full-screen games and apps mainly targeted at other OSs ported by people who don't care about platform conventions.

Universal gestures ala Apple (1)

hardware1949 (1777614) | about 3 years ago | (#35848170)

They're coming, just have patience. You have to go through the Apple version of nurturing and maturity. First wait until a young startup company builds the UGI and throughly debugs it. Next step is simple. Sue the startup, claim it as your own IP and enjoy life as a successful CEO. Ain't it cool?

Desktop HCI peaked a while ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35848204)

Reminds me of the early days of GUIs when every application had its own menu set with different top-level menus and different placement of various functions

That's not the situation today?
gedit : 'Close without Saving' 'Cancel' 'Save As'
gnumeric : 'Discard' 'Don't Close' 'Save'
Add/Remove Software : 'Cancel' 'Clear' 'Apply'
Most other GNOME dialogs : 'Close'

Windows apps love to override the minimize and close buttons on the title bar. Drives me crazy when I click close and it goes to the system tray.

Re:Desktop HCI peaked a while ago (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about 3 years ago | (#35848792)

I think you meant OSX loves to override the close buttons. While I have seen a few apps in windows that do this, they always the small apps that are specifically designed to be long running in the background like torrent software and instant messengers. It is still bad behavior, but it is limited, and usually the behavior can be set in a configuration file. OSX on the other hand, you get things like word processors that decide close means minimize. It is a total hodge podge of inconsistency. Even worse is that when this poor UI is pointed out, you get a stream of OSX fanboys claiming that it makes sense. That it is a feature, not a bug. The bad behavior is not only allowed by the OS, it is endorsed by the OS manufacturer, so there is little hope that it will ever be fixed to work in a sane way.

Re:Desktop HCI peaked a while ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35849224)

....i'm not meaning to sound like some fanboy but i've never noticed the close button meaning minimise and i use osx probably 14 hours a day since i've got macs both at work and at home.

what it *does* mean is that the window closes but the application doesn't. that might be what you're meaning? that's been there in mac os since fuck knows when but certainly since i first used a mac in about 1997 or so. i've got no idea if it was deliberate or a bug at first, but it's now definitely in there as a feature. actually i'd rather it if the close button did close the application but i can see some sense in why apple have done it the way they have. i used to get really quite annoyed with people who didn't seem to notice that the close button didn't close the actual application because it wastes quite a bit of memory. these days i don't really care so much, though it does still wind me up a bit when i check one of my macbooks (which my girlfriend uses and i very rarely do) and find *every single fucking application on the machine* seems to be open because she's never adjusted to the idea that close doesn't mean close.

Mouseover? (1)

Richard_J_N (631241) | about 3 years ago | (#35848210)

What about a way to display tooltips?
You can't really hover a finger over a device (though it would be rather neat if the screen was sensitive to pressure, or to a finger nearly touching it).
Also, why do so few devices implement long-press to get a (right-click) menu.

Re:Mouseover? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35848342)

What about a way to display tooltips?
You can't really hover a finger over a device (though it would be rather neat if the screen was sensitive to pressure, or to a finger nearly touching it).
Also, why do so few devices implement long-press to get a (right-click) menu.

Why emulate interaction native to other type of devices? "Right-clicking" or "hovering over" will never be implemented intuitively in a touch device. Instead, we should design other methods of effective interaction. Multi-touch and sliding gestures are some of them.

Re:Mouseover? (1)

Noughmad (1044096) | about 3 years ago | (#35848574)

How about fingerprint recognition? Index is left-click, middle finger is hover, ring finger is right-click?

Re:Mouseover? (2)

Hultis (1969080) | about 3 years ago | (#35848888)

This is an excellent idea! However, today's touch screens aren't even close to sensitive enough to recognize a fingerprint... It would probably be possible if you wore gloves with differently shaped pointers, but that isn't exactly smooth. On capacitative screens I can imagine using different parts of the finger though, like finger/nail to simulate left/right clicks respectively though.

Re:Mouseover? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35848466)

They are pressure-sensitive.

Re:Mouseover? (2)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 3 years ago | (#35848524)

No, screens like the iPad are capacitance sensitive, and have a second inferred level of sensitivity via vibration/angular rate change. They are not even binary sensitive to pressure like resistive screens (binary being useless for this application)

Re:Mouseover? (4, Interesting)

mcelrath (8027) | about 3 years ago | (#35848570)

I have hover on my tablet pc... if the stylus is within about 1cm of the screen, it moves the mouse cursor. I still contend that the stylus on an active digitizer is a far superior user interface than your fat greasy fingers. Hey tablet manufacturers, WAKE UP and give us active digitizers, styli, in combination with a capacitive touch screen, and high-resolution screens > 150 dpi, so we can replace PAPER!

It exists. (4, Informative)

jessecurry (820286) | about 3 years ago | (#35848220)

The standard UIControl set that Apple provides for developers has standard behavior already built in. There are a few gestures that may be optionally enabled, but most are on by default. If a developer goes out of their way to create some custom gesture I don't know that there's much Apple could do to stop them.

Re:It exists. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35849018)

While this is undoubtedly true, Apple themselves have violated their own rules. With my Magic Mouse I can swipe left and right to move forward and backward in Safari. Why does this not work on the iPad, then?

Srsly? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35848234)

My two year old niece figured it out fine, dude. I'll see if I can't get her to explain it all to you.

Re:Srsly? (2)

Belial6 (794905) | about 3 years ago | (#35848906)

That used to be my standard on whether a person was too stupid to be in a conversation. If my 2 year old son could do it, and it isn't trivial for an adult to accomplish it, (whatever 'it' happens to be), then the adult is too dumb to be taken seriously. This lasted through the age of 3. By the time he reached 4, it was just too much to ask the general population to keep up.

The "Frustrated to hell" gesture (1)

Swaziboy (1457667) | about 3 years ago | (#35848246)

giving your iXXX the middle finger because you couldn't figure out the gesture you REALLY wanted. You may need to strap a Kinect to the device so it can interpret the touch-free nature of your gesture tho :)

GUIs are for wimps (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35848264)

I use a deck of punched cards and an IBM card reader as my user interface.

American Sign Language (2)

Doc Ruby (173196) | about 3 years ago | (#35848278)

I'd love American Sign Language to become the universal hand gesture library for interacting with computers. People who are deaf already fluent in ASL would become much more productive than they might be now. Many more people who aren't already communicating with people who are deaf would learn ASL and become fluent in communicating with people who are deaf.

There's already quite a lot of infrastructure for ASL right now, both in communicating with it and in learning it. There's a whole literature, a whole culture, a whole lingo with consumable artifacts.

What would be really cool would be software translating between ASL gestures, English and Chinese. Everyone should get into the whole handwaving party.

Re:American Sign Language (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35848508)

That's not even close to the gestures they are speaking about. ASL wasn't intended for use with a flat surface, and thus wouldn't be well suited to that. Perhaps with something along the lines of a kinect, maybe, but not current tablet design. And at that point, speech based interpretation might be more useful to the overwhelming majority that don't already know ASL.

Re:American Sign Language (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35848840)

Capital idea, but there's non-US markets, too, and they generally have their own sign language (which is why there's an "A" in "ASL").

Re:American Sign Language (2)

xMrFishx (1956084) | about 3 years ago | (#35848986)

Unfortunately sign language has a long way to go before it even reaches universality. Gestures defined by companies and product makers will win in that race to evolve. The reason is this, sign language is not even universal in it's own country. There's a misunderstanding by many (including myself originally) that sign language was merely English with hand waving. Really, it's not.

Most of us hearing types think it is, because we just don't know any better. My OH is an interpreter so this comes from a good source. In England we have British Sign Language. This is just one of many forms of sign language used for communication by deaf people but it is not the only way. There's also SSE (sign supported English) which is what alot of deaf educated people use, who have a much better grasp of written english and only relates to BSL as far as BSL is one end of the spectrum and SSE is the other.

The thing is BSL is iconic. A sign represents some arbitrary idea on it's own, until a meaning is attached, with other gestures and the whole set covers a meaning. SSE is closer to typical "english" in it's structure and grammar where signs tend to link more to individual words than concepts. These two are besides the many many other variants, mid points and such on the scale of "sign language used by british people". Something I just didn't know until my OH told me.

If there's a deaf person on here they may be able to build upon what I've just said, as I really only have a grasp of how the languages work myself, not a real understanding - I'm not deaf nor do I know sign language as a language.

Basically my point is (I think), sign language is too broad, too many variants and too different to really work as a human computer interface. Much like we can't just type what we want and the computer does it, we have to break that down into singular commands, concepts and instructions to make the computer behave, sign language usage would be the same, but a very complex way of doing something much simpler.

Re:American Sign Language (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about 3 years ago | (#35849032)

The poster below is correct that it wouldn't work for a tablet, but I also agree that sign language is an under utilized resource. Call me a heartless bastard, but I don't think the deaf are the real reason it should be more common. It being useful for the deaf is just a side benefit in respect to the general population. With video based input, it could be a good dictation system. It would actually be superior to even good voice recognition in many environments. Places like cubicles. Libraries, or anyplace else that creating noise can be a problem.

Outside of computers, it would be good for talking through windows, or in very noisy environments like night clubs or concerts.

I would be very happy to see sign language be the first 'second language' that is taught in schools instead of Spanish or French. It would be much more useful to most of the population.

Re:American Sign Language (1)

xMrFishx (1956084) | about 3 years ago | (#35849182)

The OH says it's very useful in noisy environments. It also can be turned into a one handed variant - i.e. drink in other hand, that works quite well for bars.

Tablet community? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35848298)

Yes, We.Are.The.Tablet.Community. You.must.initiate.the.secret.handshake.

But.Since.You.Don't.Know.It ahem
I can't give you the universal Gesture Guidebook.

Next. Not A Reference to Our Lord's previous brainchild. I meant, next question please.

How about that Autocorrect? (4, Insightful)

Wolfstar (131012) | about 3 years ago | (#35848318)

The one thing I'd like to see changed is autocorrect behavior. Seriously, who thought hitting "space" after an autocorrect word comes up would correct it, but tapping the corrected word would dismiss it? Really?

I admit, I haven't tried it on an Android device (the nook being my only one), but on iOS it's annoying as hell.

Re:How about that Autocorrect? (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 3 years ago | (#35848582)

It makes sense, but only once you figure it out (aka secret handshake). The combination of keyboard prediction, sensitivity, and poor average keyboarding skills combine to make the prediction more accurate than no prediction. The problem with that supposition is that rather than having a non-word typo which may be a letter or two of (and may even be phonetically correct in the case of mis-spellings), you can get wildly different words. It's also very annoying when working on technical documents for which the flow of writing does not match LOL speak.

Actually, I didn't realize until reading your post that you could click on the corrected word to dismiss autocorrect - I though you had to click the X, which often leads to clicking the area to the _right_ of the autocorrect on very small screens (like my phone) which inserts the *insert expletive here* corrected word anyway.

It's Right Here (4, Informative)

Fnord666 (889225) | about 3 years ago | (#35848336)

Well, it's called "iOS Human Interface Guidelines" and it starts right here [apple.com]. Next question.

Re:It's Right Here (1)

DadLeopard (1290796) | about 3 years ago | (#35848556)

Wow! How did I know that the Apple User Interface Police had the situation under control! 8-) They have been on the job since the 128K Mac days and before! I had no doubts that if a developer tried to do it "His Own Way", he's get his finger slapped and his App pulled!

Gestures must trigger immediate screen changes (1)

Invisible Now (525401) | about 3 years ago | (#35848370)

It's very difficult to intuit the right gesture if the screen response is slow. Which one worked? The iPod app always gets me double clicking, triple clicking, and swiping furioulsy at the album cover when a song is playing because I can't tell what's right to get it to flip. I'm sure everyone else in the world "knows" the rightngesture. How did the learn? Does anyone know of a source of "standard" gestures for OS4 apps?

Re:Gestures must trigger immediate screen changes (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35849062)

Maybe you're just really fat-fingered? That "rightngesture" and "How did the learn?" would suggest that this is, indeed, so. They can't be expected to tailor a screen to someone with massive thick sausages for fingers. Be serious.

Middle finger swipe up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35848414)

means f*ck the developer whom I paid for this POS app.

gestures (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35848460)

pelvic thrust should immediately open porn in the browser

Universal User Interfaces? (5, Insightful)

drolli (522659) | about 3 years ago | (#35848482)

They have gone down the drain when idiots who are not aware that a "page down" key exists on your keyboard were allowed to make flash controls displaying long texts in the web.

Honestly i curse always when i am presented with a really nice looking UI in the web which behaves exactly like the programer always believed an interface should behave and forgets to implement half of the expected semantics. Things i hate:

a) ESC does not finish dialogs

b) Return does not OK inputs

c) Tab does not jump between input fields

d) Links dont do anything

e) Deactivated options are not marked (of marked in a way you only understand after trial-and-error)

In that sense, the inconsistency we have with touchscreens only fits in.

FUD much? (2, Interesting)

neoevans (179332) | about 3 years ago | (#35848488)

Since when did Slashdot start posting FUD from companies looking to tarnish a competitor's product?

This is exactly the kind of planted review I expect to see in an App Store comment section. 50% from the developers, 50% from the competition.

Listen, I have 3 kids who all love to use the iPad and not one of them can't figure out how to navigate in and between apps. They are ages 10, 6 and 1.5 respectively. I'd call that intuitive.

Re:FUD much? (2)

fean (212516) | about 3 years ago | (#35848660)

Overreact much? What 'competitor's product' are you talking about? No app is specified in the question.

The OP didn't say he couldn't figure it out, or even that it was hard. Just that apps haven't standardized. The only reason Android doesn't get called out is that A) so few people have Xooms, and B) Android apps don't rely on gestures, as they have hardware buttons for 'standard' things like back, menu and search.

The OP isn't asking for anything absurd, and it sounds like Apple has it covered, even if the devs don't all follow it. I'm positive that most Android devs won't look to Apple's docs to determine what gestures do what, so it'd be nice to have some sort of UX-specialized site that attempts to standardize it.

Blame the @#$#$% patents (1)

Qubit (100461) | about 3 years ago | (#35848496)

What gestures would you like to see made standard in touch-based interfaces?

Well from a design perspective I'd like the standards to use the ones that are most intuitive for us to learn, most ergonomic so we don't mess up our meatspace bodies, and most quick and efficient so that we can get things done in short order on our fancy new computer devices.

One of the biggest impediments to standards in this space is patents on both the hardware underlying multi-touch (or whatever user interface comes out next year) as well as all of the software that drives the interface.

If you want to improve the state of standardization, convince either the companies to stop getting or wielding these patents, or convince your government to eliminate/defang them. They are hurting the standardization process.

The problem is developers thinking in gestures (1)

Mr. Picklesworth (931427) | about 3 years ago | (#35848530)

The universal gesture navigation set is kinetics. It is documented by everyone's natural intuition about the physical world. Touch interfaces work well when they feel like physical interactions, but shoehorning “gestures” into them is completely missing the point. You can't build fluid physical interaction with rigid commands that happen to involve fingers instead of letters. Sure, use gestures under the hood if you have to, but don't force your end user to think about it.

Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35848538)

Regarding the broader tablet/mobile market, many gestures are now patented [techhail.com]. Apple has at least 15 gesture-related patents, Some others [tipb.com] have suggested [androidandme.com] that other interface designers are reluctant to implement identical gestures, for fear of Apple's patent portfolio.

satanic sunday, bad guys coming to town (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35848542)

iconic or what? doesn't it 'always' end this way? should the virgin based deities unite again, we might have a chance. the secret universe knocking at our door gesture? stiletto handshake? at least we know who the players are so we can go where the best matches are to be staged.

the genuine native elders do not recognize evil as anything at all, as evidenced in the teepeeleaks etchings. they do however note that man'kind' develops a need from time to time, to exterminate most of itself, & them. there was never such a thing as wampum, or even commerce, as everyone had more than enough stuff for really clean spiritual living, so that none had to be coveted or anything from anybody else. even the hymenless females were not an object of aggression/possession. no pollution, no weapons, no rulers. then came the queen's bible & weapons peddlers... the rest is deleted as unproven history,,, to us.

Universal? How about configurable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35848726)

The FingerWorks keyboard was a good start, but even that was limited in ways. Apple bought them, and now multitouch has been confined to phones and toys, and innovation has ceased.

Anyway, it is far too early to standardize on a set of gestures. There is a tremendous amount of potential with multitouch, and the current devices have only scratched the surface. Rather than crippling innovation, we need configurable devices with which developers can explore that potential. I'd also argue that gestures should not be hidden in some standards document, but presented by the user interface, and contextual for each application.

Dumbass (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35848806)

Gesture? How about the middle finger Apple is giving you for being stupid enough to buy their overpriced, locked-down garbage?
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