I am quite interested in exploring the Multitouch scenario on Mozilla Firefox for my project under Felipe's and Gerv's mentorship. Working with Mozilla Team design team members( Alexander Limi) and mentors is turning out to be a great experience so far. I am learning a lot of new things. Browsing the web is a very distributed activity with a lot of interactions possible- my aim would be to design a minimalist interface, that is slick, fast, and non-obtrusive. Hence devoted past couple of weeks researching on the topic-and doing some user study with Natural User Interface Group members.
Browsing through guidelines and advice by Dan Saffer in his book "Designing Gestural Interfaces"
was an eye opener. I'll be using the book as a ready reference before writing code portions.
- Setup Mercurial(hg) repo at Google-Code at a mirror at BitBucket
- Wrote the extension skeleton: Sidebars etc.
- Recompiled Fx on Ubuntu and Win
- Checked out Fennec's and iPad Safari interactions using simulators
- User study with NUIGroup members
- Planning UI in context with three primary tasks: Tabs Placement and behaviour, Natural Gestures library for common tasks etc.
The overall discussion with community proved fruitful deriving to a conclusion- most applications/tools that are designed for Horizontal table-top systems might not be a perfect fit on vertical Multitouch systems. Since the tablets' era is coming: iPad, HP Slate, NotionInk Adam etc. we've to keep a couple of other things at the back of our mind while designing applications- Imprecise positioning, possible problems with eye parallaxis (with pen, too), the finger may be too large for accurate pointing with small objects. Hand movements (if used with keyboard). etc. etc.
In next update I'll be sharing some diagrams and code samples, right here.