Parker Ehret

digital polymath. problem solver. coffee drinker. beard grower. picture taker.
Lead Product Designer at oneID. Previously at Yahoo.

ux best practice: tablet scrolling

as a designer, i’ve always valued symmetry and balance. however, i came across the tesla model x site on my ipad and it made me rethink some tablet best practices.

when i first got to the page i immediately noticed the ugly gutter on the right hand side of the page. i assumed it was a development oversight and the site hadn’t been optimized for a tablet device. but as i scrolled down the page, i realized this gutter had a purpose. a few of the modules on the page were interactive, and as i interacted with the modules, my touch inputs affected the interaction of the module, not the scrolling of the page.

tesla had designed a scroll gutter!

in hindsight, it seems like a no-brainer. but, this is one of the first sites that i’ve come across that has some really smooth touch interactions, coupled with a scrolling solution.

as i design for more interactive sites, i’m definitely going to start using this obvious solution as a ux best practice for tablet devices.

the television is dead

the future is here, now. today, hulu released hulu plus, an application that allows you to watch every current season episode of shows on NBC, ABC and FOX. this comes just weeks after netflix released their netflix app, which allows you to watch movies and tv shows streaming from netflix. not to mention, the ABC app, which allows you to watch almost every show currently on ABC.

All of these applications have been released within just 3 months of the release of apple’s ipad.

the downside is that all of these things require wifi to work the way you want them to. well, at the moment.

the average internet speed being delivered to your home is roughly 3mbps. however, back in january, at&t began updating their network to HSPA 7.2 in 6 major markets. HSPA 7.2 delivers 7.2mbps, over twice the speed of your average home internet connection. eventually, the contract that apple has with at&t will run out, and when it does, devices like the iphone and ipad will be running on at&t, as well as other networks. verizon, also upgraded their network to HSPA 7.2 earlier this year.

but, what does the future hold?

upon further research i came across an article, which stated the following:

The future for all networks… is Long-Term Evolution (LTE), also known as 4G. It can hit speeds of as much as 100mbps downstream. Verizon Wireless plans to deploy it this year while AT&T and T-Mobile have said they will begin to deploy LTE in 2011 while maintaining their 3G networks.

100mbps! verizon will start deploying 4G network speeds this year, while at&t plans to have it running by next year. so, by 2011, we will have an internet connection, being delivered, over the air, 30 times faster than what we now have at home.

why own a television? everything you want will soon be delivered to a device that you can take with you everywhere. you’ll be able to download HD movies in minutes while driving in your car, or stream entire seasons of your favorite tv show, while sitting in a park.

i hate to say it, but the tv is dead. especially when the newest wave of television technology requires that i wear glasses. eff that.

the new internet

i’m beginning to realize that i prefer a curated web-browsing experience.

i was once in school for architecture. the projects that i enjoyed the most were the ones in which i’d have to design within a very specific space or lot size. i had the most trouble working within a large area and having too much freedom within a given space.

i’ve recently realized i enjoy the same principle when applied to the internet. not only as a designer, but as a user.

i don’t own an ipad yet, but have had the opportunity to use one quite frequently. i’ve even done some web designs geared towards the ipad. i’ve realized that i much prefer designing for a 768x1024px screen. in web design, you always have to keep in mind that the end user could be using any number of web browsers or screen sizes, which, in my opinion, limits your creativity. one user may view a site one way, while another user may view it completely differently. this sometimes causes you to dumb down a design or layout. yet, having a specific space to design within, you know that no matter what you design, it will always look how it was designed to look. 

this form of curated computing could ultimately end up creating a more user-friendly web-browsing experience, for both the designer and the user.