Archive for ui

ASUCI v2 shows the J3/S9/X7 from a new angle

(Warning: If you’re not immune to ear-hemorrhage-inducing pop music, you better turn down the volume on your speakers/headphones before starting the video.)

The Cowon J3 is far from being abandoned by the user interface modding community (and the S9 and X7 benefit from being compatible). Well known Korean UCI designer Asurada presents a teaser video of his newest creation, ASUCI v2.

Using 45 degree tilted interface elements would usually be just a gimmick, but Asurada obviously put a lot of thought into the design and usability of his theme. Next to ergonomic left-handed usage I especially like the increased length of the slider bar, allowing for more precise scrolling in a track. It seems to hit a quite sweet middle ground between a portrait- and a landscape-oriented interface.

[ASUCI v2 official site (Korean) via iAudiophile]

Cowon D2 User Interface on the O2

d2 o2 main Cowon D2 User Interface on the O2

Martin and I have been a bit disappointed with our O2’s (check out his O2 review). We have no complaints about the hardware and the sound quality is top notch as always. Cowon has made some minor fixes and improvements with Codec handling in recent firmware updates, but our major gripe is the UI. Equating it to something out of Windows 3.1, we were a bit puzzled as to why Cowon would take a few steps back when they already have something very successful to build upon- the D2.

Putting the D2 UI on the O2 would be a huge improvement and cure our main gripe. How could you argue with an oversized D2 with HD codec support? I have been trading a few emails with one of the O2 firmware programmers and he seems to think it is a good idea and has passed it on to R&D- so this may indeed become a reality.

In the spirit of product development and improvement, Martin has mocked up what the O2 would look like with the D2 interface after the jump.

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Canola: Portable Media Player UI Done Right

canola.logo Canola: Portable Media Player UI Done Right

With every new player on the market there are a lot of hardware changes and new features to tempt the users. The same can not be said about user interfaces, as these are often half done and doesn’t work as well as they should have. For some this is a minor annoyance, while others rely on the player to be user friendly and easy to control in different situations.

If you have a Nokia Internet Tablet, that problem has been a thing of the past for a while now. A development project called Canola done by several Brazilian tablet users has risen up from the sea of media players for the platform and provided it with perhaps the best interface I have seen on any device. Hit the jump for the full story on how the Indt development team have done what many PMP manufactures have more or less failed to do for years.

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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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