Wednesday, August 13, 2008

gestural design

Sounds a bit smelly and dark doesn't it.

I remember from my time working with Motorola that they were big on gestures. The thinking (I believe) was to change the way people held devices to ensure the 'design' was visible even by the pose of the person holding it.

I was reminded of this yesterday when I walked past a 'city type' at Liverpool Street Station using his iPhone. I guess I had noticed this before (perhaps subconsciously) but the iPhone user looks like an artist compared to the old Blackberry user.

The old (I.e. pre-Pearl) Blackberry user's gesture was all about the scroll-wheel. The user's actions were deliberate and regimented and linear. The iPhone user draws and taps freely on his/her screen with a finger; the hand arched over like a swan.

It's interesting how the culture of a device and therefore brand can be seen in the street from afar. And if you're into the idea of a brand being an interface, it seems especially poignant, although I'm not clever enough to analyse it in much more detail.

I guess this extends to a lot of things. If you're a high street brand how do people carry your shopping bags; by their side or over their shoulder? If you're a restaurant, how do people sit; relaxed or formal?

It really opens up the way you look at creating an experience if you consider the gestures and behaviours you'd like to see.

I'm lazy and didn't research this. I'm sure there are more interesting articles about it. Do share if you've seen one.


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