After we discussed the dynamic tap target adjustment technology used in Temporalium at NSCoder Night in Copenhagen, Denmark, we were discussing lots of ideas based around this principle of shrinking or expanding the hot zone of controls based on forecasted probabilities.
While studying high quality audio compression techniques, I often found myself asking this question: How much does MP3 affect the sound quality?
MP3 is a perceptual codec based on psychoacoustic models. It reduces precision in areas beyond average human auditory resolution.
If your ears are trained to listen for small details, such as ears of a musician or sound designer, or an audiophile HiFi nerd, you’re more likely to notice artifacts. Especially when you’re listening over brilliantly sharp speakers or headphones.
Obviously one way you can tell how much MP3 affects the sound quality is by simply converting your high quality uncompressed LPCM / WAV file to MP3 with various different bit rates and then listen and compare. But the differences you notice are hard to communicate.
Another way you can judge the impact on sound quality is to do a visual frequency spectrum analysis for various different bit rates, and then just look at them.
The frequency spectrum of the uncompressed, slightly edited LPCM file looks like this:
I have a vision: Awesome iOS devices which don’t challenge us with Slide to Unlock all the time, making for a far better user experience, shorter time-to-action and increased security. In fact, getting rid of unnecessary Slide to Unlock challenges can save lives.
Here’s a snippet from the proposal I submitted to Apple.
… or at least my vision for it. Here’s my email I sent to Tim Cook and Scott Forstall.
These are 3 of my best ideas I have for tremendously improving the iPhone’s user experience and security. In short:
- Intelligent “slide to unlock”.
- Auto-Security: Don’t prompt to enter a PIN when I’m at home.
- Contacts shows status of ringer switches.
If you’re into tactile and skeuomorphic design, you’ll want to know about an alternative to the standard target-action pattern of UIControl. A pattern that can make your UI feel more realistic but also respond to touch events more intelligently than relying on “atomic” hot zones.
Imagine a really awesome, fun to use calculator with a grid of UIButton objects. Each of them triggers a specific action.
The way how UIButton in particular or UIControl in general works is that when the finger initially goes down on the button and touches up inside the button, a “touched up inside” control event is triggered. When the finger touches up outside, the button is cancelled.
Some developers make use of the various control events to make the UI more skeuomorphic, more realistic, more fun. Usually this goes beyond just triggering actions upon touch up inside, such as tweaking the appearance when the button is pressed, about to be cancelled (finger outside the hot zone but still on screen), and so on.
The government? Seriously? Yes, I had to electroshock myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. But the UK government totally got it: They’re doing some top-notch user experience design for their websites right now. And the best part: They’re teaching everyone how they do it. If you’re curious about user experience design, this is a great starting point.
AllOurIdeas.org is a pretty cool way to prioritize ideas through crowdsourcing.
What kind of high quality utility app do you want to see created by Taptanium?
When I work on complex multi-phase animation sequences, I love to slow down Core Animation so I can fine-tune the flow. It’s like using a high-speed camera to watch things in slow-mo, and it helps me a lot.