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  1. #1
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    Your thoughts on "page flip" interface.

    Do you use http://www.flipboard.com/ ?

    Do you use http://gb.zinio.com/ ?

    Is there any literature on UX studies for this kind of interface?
    Do you use it?
    If a client wanted to do online magazine and asked for your consult what would you say?

    If you were building your own web service/app of this kind would you use it?

    Personally i hate it, but i would like for some papers/studies that confirm my suspicion that those kind of interfaces are bad, and intended to dazzle with cheap paper flip effect.

    I'm dying to hear what you have to say about this.
    Thanks.
    my little Blog

  2. #2
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
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    I can't even tell what that flipboard is supposed to do. Is this going to be for users or rocket surgeons?
    http://stommepoes.nl/flipboard.png

    If a client wanted to do online magazine and asked for your consult what would you say?
    I'd probably explain that how users consume content is determined by the medium. People flip pages because books and magazines are made up of bound paper... really no other way to read paper books. The web is very different.
    I'd also ASK the client what they were thinking of, WHY, and what ultimate goal are they going for? It might be as shallow as "Hey I saw this cool 3d Flash/Javajunk effect and it has kittens! SOCUTE! I WANT ONE TOO!" or it might be "I'm looking for a way to simulate this particular effect for this particular device for X reasons."

    If you were building your own web service/app of this kind would you use it?
    Since I'm not into web apps, I likely wouldn't, but if this were a web site that Did Stuff and also had some goofy effect on it, I'd see if I could build something that followed the principles of document-based web where client-requests-from-server-and-server-replies, and then maybe layer a bunch of pretty BS over that. Unless the pretty BS broke usability or was just overly confuzling and a heap of expensive code.

    From UX Matters on mobile:
    If you plan to port a desktop application to a tablet, it’s reasonable to consider designing a simplified version, in landscape mode, as a starting point—stripping away menus and possibly providing palette-style, touch interfaces in their place. For portrait mode, you’ll need to make some decisions about what to show. You must also decide which orientation should be the primary one. In portrait mode, you may need to turn secondary or navigation panes into pop-up menus. Plus, to make the best use of the screen real estate in each different orientation, you may need to reorient other types of panes or palettes from side-by-side to above-and-below or vice versa. Some sets of related panes may work well as flip-over panels that reveal additional controls or content on their back side.
    http://www.uxmatters.com/mt/archives...mobile-app.php

    Here's a review which specifically mentions Flipboard: http://www.iphoneuxreviews.com/

    This *might* be a relevant study thought it's different, older technology that also tried to simulate flipping through a book:
    http://www.surl.org/usabilitynews/72/FlipBook.asp

    Mostly, people had higher fail rates on things that were either not intuitive (so if you have a client asking you to build something for iPad, you'll be thinking about common, basic things people do on iPads and consider those "intuitive" and "known") or just too novel. People in general are attracted to what they are comfortable with, and they are comfortable with what they know.
    On the other hand, novelty seekers don't mind figuring stuff out, reading manuals, and trying out new things. If your client is seeking to attract users based on novelty, I'd warn them that they will have a narrower reach for their content.

    If your client is trying to get content out and read, and it's device-specific, it should work well, easily and accessibly on that device. At that point, it may be totally ok that it breaks on other media (desktop web browsers), since either the content is not meant for them OR you'll have the content packaged differently for that media (something like what this flippy book thing looks like is not something you would necessarily want to try to make device-independent, but I'm not sure).

    Stuff like going from page to page or going through slides can be done for basic web (where users do conventional things like clicking links to go to the next page or slide) and then you can layer stuff on it like Javascript or something to have stuff like click-and-drag to do the same thing (though I'd argue that will limit the potential audience, as more people can read than can work a mouse like that... assuming they have either a mouse or a touch screen).

    You know, possibly if there aren't any user tests with specifically this Flipboard or whatever, maybe your? client is willing to pay for some small gifts/rewards to do a bit of user testing (5 to 10 people who normally use iPads or whatever) just to see how feasable the basic idea is. This way, you don't have to build some huge app first and then see if it totally breaks. There's something similar and you can do piss-simple and dirt-cheap testing for the basics. If it's well-received then your client may have something.


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