When we began to explore the next generation of Lexmark touch screens for their printers one of the most obvious pieces that needed to be explored further was gesturing. The previous gen was built using FlashLite 3. The gesturing ability within the earlier printers was clunky. Swiping barely worked. I was tasked with defining the gestures that would be used.
Our touch screens needed to be brought up to speed with present day interaction expectations. How would a user interact with our interface? Horizontal or vertical? How does the user know when they have reached the end of screens. How do they know which way to swipe?
On printers, supply status is an important function. It is similar to the needs one has for notification or control centers on mobile phones. Quick access can be an important feature for users. How do you enable the user to quickly access Status Supplies?
Swiping down is a standard way on phones, but would it work for a printer? A problem with the printer touch screen, unlike most phones, is that the printer has a bezel. That bezel makes swiping from the edges difficult—therefore we had to build in a buffer.
The buffer creates a problematic experience with other components. We tested, iterated, and then redesigned. As we iterated through this issue we had to reconsider how the user accesses Status Supplies. The process taught us a lot about the limitations and how we needed to adjust for gesturing with a bezel.
Accessing Job Queue and Function Screens
A few example iterations to explore accessing current and previous jobs.
Accessing function screens like fax, copy, or USB. How do the screens reveal themselves? Do they slide, fade, or box car (push the home screen over and out of the way) in?
Here are a few more screens that I created to help development understand how to handle touch registration.
Gesturing can make or break an application. If we strayed too far from the norms the users would never discover the right way to interact with the printer. If we never took risks we risk always following trends and potentially falling into the same bad user experience traps.
Testing. Testing is key to discovery and fact-finding.