The Psychology and Engineering Behind Everyday Tech Interactions

TLDR; Design and engineering tricks behind everyday tech interactions, from keyboard to scrolling, deceive and captivate users.

⌨️ Invisible Touch Keyboard

The iPhone's keyboard was a disaster until engineer Kev Cenda revolutionized it.

He created a keyboard with invisible touch areas that dynamically adjust based on the most likely next letter.

This technology, using the dictionary and word history, powers the keyboard on today's phones.

🔘 Button Feedback

The design of a simple button involves complex decisions to ensure user interaction.

The action activates not on touch start but on touch end, addressing touch precision and movement.

Interaction design aims to make computer interaction closer to human intuition and instinct.

👆 Cursor and Swiping

The typing cursor and swiping gestures are designed to emulate real-world actions and affordances.

Affordances and metaphors were once used to familiarize users with digital interfaces.

Minimalistic design aims to eliminate affordances, relying on users' familiarity with digital interfaces.

🔄 Inertial Scrolling

Inertial scrolling replicates natural physics, requiring complex mathematical modeling for a smooth experience.

The deceleration curve of scrolling is carefully designed to feel natural and intuitive.

The elasticity of scrolling, modeled after springs, adds another layer of complexity to the interaction.

⏳ Loading Screens and Skeleton Loaders

Loading screens and skeleton loaders utilize psychology to reduce perceived loading time.

Skeleton loaders trick the brain by providing something to process, making the loading time feel shorter.

They also offer the benefit of previewing the structure of the page before it fully loads.

🎯 Fitts's Law

Fitts's Law dictates that important buttons should be large and close to the user's focus.

The placement and size of buttons are designed to facilitate quicker and more accurate interactions.

Smart design utilizes psychological principles to enhance user experience and interface usability.

🏞️ Technical Limitations and Design

Historically, technical limitations drove how technology was designed, influencing decisions that persisted for decades.

The design of the mouse cursor, for example, was influenced by the anchor point of images on the screen.

Today, design combines complex technology, carefully crafted designs, and psychology to create intuitive interactions.

🔮 Challenges of Future Interactions

The future challenge lies in creating natural ways to interact with augmented reality and smart glasses.

The successor to the smartphone will rely on creating magical and captivating interactions.

The design of interactions for future devices will determine their success.

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