Friday, February 25, 2011

The lion and the trackpad

Apple has released a version of the next version of Mac OS X, code-named Lion, to developers. That’s a fairly standard step on the release road for the company’s OS updates. In an article at AppleInsider, though, I noticed this interesting tidbit:
The new multi-touch gestures are designed to take advantage of the larger click TrackPads on more recent MacBook models, which could make them more difficult with older notebooks. Another strange quirk, people familiar with the developer preview said, is two-finger scrolling is reversed: to scroll down on a webpage in Safari, users must push up with their fingers, which is the opposite of how it works in Snow Leopard, but the same directly as scrolling on the iPad.
I’m pretty sure that nobody at Apple, or AppleInsider for that matter, reads this blog. Anyone who has read my previous post on scrolling from March of last year, though, will know that the change doesn’t feel like a strange quirk to me. It feels like the right direction to go, and Apple is clearly addressing the collision between old and new interaction paradigms.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Design Exchange 2011

It’s been a busy month, with the most recent Ignite Waterloo event and planning for uxWaterloo keeping me busy outside of my day job. I haven’t done a blog post here in a while, and I thought I’d start to catch up by letting you know about an event that I’m peripherally involved with.

Design Exchange Waterloo 2011 is a student-organized, design-focused forum that’s happening from 6:00pm to 9:00pm on Wednesday March 2 in room 2218 of the Tatham Center at the University of Waterloo. The DXW website is currently light on detail, but I can share a little more information that I know about. The coolest thing about this forum is that includes ten groups of students from four different areas (Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Environment, and School of Computer Science) presenting their design work. There also will be ample opportunity to discuss design, incubate ideas, and connect with a diverse group of students and industry professionals through their shared interest in design.

To that end, the organizers are hoping to see people from the off-campus community join the students for what looks to be a lively event. I can say from my own past experience that it’s well worth attending. At the last event, back in 2009, I even met a student whom we subsequently hired as an intern at Primal Fusion, an outcome that may have been unusual but which was more than welcome all around.

Here’s a my understanding of the agenda for March 2:
  • Introductions
  • 5 student presentations
  • 30 minute snack break (mingle period)
  • 5 student presentations
  • Awards for Best Presentations, Most Innovative Design
  • Concluding Statements
Should be an interesting event.