I spoke at UX Australia a few months ago, and the audio from the presentation is now online. So here is both the slides and the sound.

Listen to audio

“The spatial memories seem to translate into more immersive reading and stronger comprehension. A recent experiment conducted with young readers in Norway found that, with both expository and narrative works, people who read from a printed page understand a text better than those who read the same material on a screen. The findings are consistent with a series of other studies on the process of reading. “We know from empirical and theoretical research that having a good spatial mental representation of the physical layout of the text supports reading comprehension,” wrote the Norwegian researchers. They suggested that the ability of print readers to “see as well as tactilely feel the spatial extension and physical dimensions” of an entire text likely played a role in their superior comprehension.”

Link: Paper Versus Pixel (nautil.us)

Link: The World Without Mobile (youtube.com)

“Let’s start with a little game. In iOS, there’s an ad tracking feature that allows advertisers to identify you (albeit anonymously). It’s turned on by default. Let’s see if we can work out how to turn it off together. Go into your settings and scroll down. There we go! Ad tracking must be in “Privacy”, right? Oh. That’s strange, ad tracking isn’t in the privacy menu – so let’s keep looking. Let’s go back to the main settings page and go into “General”…But wait, what’s this at the very bottom? Advertising. Well I never – let’s tap it and see.

“We’ve found it! Even better, it says “Limit ad tracking off”. So ad tracking is off already. I’m not being tracked, thank goodness. But wait a minute. It doesn’t say “Ad tracking – off” it says “Limit ad tracking – off”. So it’s a double negative. It’s not being limited, so when this switch is off, ad tracking is actually on. Off means on! This is actually a great example of what I define as a Dark Pattern. It’s a user interface that uses manipulative techniques to get users to do things they would not otherwise have done.”

Link: The slippery slope (90percentofeverything.com)


What if our body surfaces could be used as computer control inputs?

“In addition to offering nearly fail-proof feedback, using body parts as input devices also has another distinct advantage: the device is literally always with you – because your body is you. Yes, people often carry their mobile phones, but they’ll never be without their hands or their ears. Thus they’ll never be without system functions that have been assigned to their hands or ears…Although these technical obstacles remain to be solved, it’s reasonable to expect that user interfaces might be at least partly body-based in 20 or 30 years.”

Link: The Human Body as Touchscreen Replacement (nngroup.com)

How redefining the “console” is something that many have failed to achieve.

“There’s some kind of smart-TV idea trying to be born at Microsoft, an interesting technology which seems just out of reach. There’s something to its Minority-Report-esque idea of swiping, swishing and talking to your television. There’s some notion in the middle of that with tablets and interactions and second screens. But to get there needs a deep reinvention, and the road toward it does not lead through changing everyone’s minds about the meaning of “console.” Instead it needs to be a new product, even a whole new category, and its adoption has to go slow.”

Link: What Games Are: Reinventing The Games Console Half Way Won’t Work (techcrunch.com)


“…One of my favorite Gmail Labs features showed a static shot of your inbox with all your mail while the page loads, so you can start mentally processing emails right away. And some content-heavy apps like Flipboard and Pulse often load titles and leading paragraphs to enable fast scrolling, then load images and full text once the user pauses or chooses an article. The lesson here is to present useful content, even though it might not be fully interactive, so that the user can get a jump start and not feel like time is unnecessarily wasted.”

Link: Waiting stinks: How to redesign your product’s dead time (gigaom.com)