Bibliography of multi-touch interaction research

Given the recent interest in multi-touch interaction following the announcement of the iPhone, I thought I would point to Bill Buxton’s brief history of multi-touch interaction research. There’s also some background in the Fastcompany interview of Jeff Han.
By the way, I much prefer this latest video of Jeff Han’s work than his TED presentation.
Apparently you can make your own multi-touch screen (by following Jeff’s original paper) but it would appear the real wizardry is in the software…

Interaction Design in Europe

Convivio – the European Network for the Human-Centered Design of Interactive Technologies – has kicked off a series of interviews with leading voices in the field of human-centred design. Interviews will feature people from all over the world, but with an emphasis on European voices (and I’m biased, but it’s wonderfully refreshing to have a European perspective on all things HCI).

The first interview is with Jan Chipchase, Principal Researcher at Nokia, who maintains a photo-blog at Future Perfect.

The second interview is with Adam Greenfield, author of Everyware: The dawning age of ubiquitous computing.

Adam finishes with some great advice for designers who are interested in getting involved with ‘ubiquitous computing’:

“[…] I’d imagine that getting comfortable with user observation and ethnography, contextual inquiry, and other techniques for the qualitative understanding of the experience of use will stand you in good stead. And if neither of these two suggestions appeal, about all I can say is sit just where you are – because it seems fairly likely to me that some kind of Everyware will come to you.”

In a related vein, and also from Europe, Nat Torkington blogs about his conversation with Matt Webb, who works for creative design consultancy Schulze & Webb.

Designing Web Applications – Structure and Flows

User Interface Engineering (UIE) have released a 54 page report called The Designer’s Guide to Web Applications, Part I – Structure and Flows . It’s US$35 – but there’s a free chapter available for download.

I’ve read the free chapter, and it’s very good. It helps conceptualise how most web applications should be structured – useful if you’re struggling to envisage how screens should ‘flow’ from one to the other.

In a similar vein, there is Bob Baxley‘s Task Flow for Web Applications, part 1 – Views & Forms and Task Flow for Web Applications, part 2 – Wizards & Guides.

Designing grid systems

Mark Boulton has started an excellent series of articles on designing grid systems: Five simple steps to designing grid systems

The grid is a regulatory system which pre-empts the basic formal decisions in the design process. it’s preconditions help in the structuring, division and ordering or content. I’m not saying a well designed grid will solve all of your compositional problems, far from it, but it goes some way in creating a coherent structure in design which in turn creates the aesthetic values all of us are after in our designs.

(via design Principles)

AJAX: Use only as indicated

More good conversation over at Asterisk about AJAX: AJAX: Your Take

AJAX offers us some nice options when it comes to user interface. The yellow fade technique, to site an example, is neat, simple and useful. However, as with any technology it should be used only when it’s needed. Well, unless you’re just messing around with it of course. Start with the problem, then apply the solution and all that.

AJAX Interaction Demos

More on the opportunities and interaction challenges of AJAX via Jeffrey Veen.
Jeffrey points to the work of Bill Scott of Sabre Airline Solutions who have put some code and demos online at
By the way, if anyone is doing this kind of work in NZ, get in touch. I’d be keen to get involved from a usability and interface design perspective (as in: I’d be happy to offer my services for *cough* free in return for a good case study).