Design firm sits down with Microsoft Surface

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Ars Technica spoke to folks from design firm Teehan+Lax and  Microsoft Surface  Director of User Experience, August de los Reyes, to discuss the interface challenges facing Surface. Couple of interesting points.

First is the single-user orientation. In theory, Surface should accommodate multiple users. In practice, those multiple users tend to gather at one side of the screen because the system is still oriented for a single user.

Based on both Microsoft’s research and his own observations, de los Reyes says that people tend to gravitate towards others already situated at one of the table’s sides, in some ways mitigating the issue of upside-down or hard to read text.

Another was the need to get past the control elements of a desktop system, such as scrollbars…

…users displayed a great deal of satisfaction when interacting with a touch-driven mapping application developed by the team. But “the moment we introduced a scrollbar, which is a GUI element, the level of satisfaction wavered a bit,”

I know that feeling. No scrollbars for me on a touch-based system  either. Full article at Ars Technica.

Alleged Apple fanboi, accused Android apologist, and confirmed Microsoft MVP for touch and tablet Mark Sumimoto a.k.a. Sumocat dabbles in all areas of mobile computing with a focus on Windows-based Tablet PCs and pen input. A mobile computing enthusiast since 2004, he pioneered the field of ink blogging via his personal blog, Sumocat's Scribbles. His current tools include a Fujitsu Lifebook T900, TEGA v2, and iPhone 4. Email: sumocat [at]

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