Archive for surface

Microsoft Surface, a Better UI than Cover Flow for the Desktop

ms surface cf Microsoft Surface, a Better UI than Cover Flow for the Desktop

Cover Flow is a nice looking interface, but it is eye candy far from a practical and useful interface. The biggest problem with Cover Flow is that the user can only view the currently selected album, the one before, and the one after (and only a fraction of the latter two). The reason why this is not useful has to do with the way we mentally process ordered lists.

Typically we view lists in words made up by letters- since the alphabet is standard and consistent, we are used to making sense of where a “G” falls in reference to the rest of the items in the list. It is an automatic mental process developed by our mastery of the alphabet and language. By contrast, Cover Flow forces us to constantly relearn our mental processes of ordering visual cues in the form of album covers. While you could argue that it is possible to learn the order of album art covers, it would take time and would be difficult since the list is dynamic.

We are all obsessed with album art and love visual interfaces, but a different approach needs to be taken in order to circumvent our natural understanding of language and ordered lists.

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Zune Demo on Microsoft Surface

ms surface zune Zune Demo on Microsoft Surface

There is no doubt that Microsoft Surface is a hot product. Every time I walked by the Surface demo area at CES you had to push and shove your way to even get a look at it. I got a chance to actually touch and play with Surface and aside from touch calibration issues, it is a hot product. It will be amazing once these tables see sub $10k prices and hit consumer homes.

I checked out a few demos of Surface, but the more interesting one pertaining to this site was the Zune demo. The video below shows a simple demo of playlist management and syncing capabilities. This particular demo was build for a hotel lobby. This is cool, but it would be way more practical for consumer and home use with further integration with other devices. None the less, check out the video below.

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