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The Pinch

Liquid | Author was developed first on a Mac, with the margins of the wide screen used for clippings of text and when that project technically didn’t work out and I lost my programmer I started it from scratch on iOS. I wanted to make it as native to a multi-touch environment as I could and I did not like the idea of the Table of Contents (ToC) being different from the headings, as it has to be in an analog environment. Therefore I came up with the notion of using two fingers in a vertical pinch in motion to collapse the document to hide all body text and only show the headings, in effect collapsing into a Table of Contents. This was added to the current Author and works well.

With the next step of this word processing experiment being the Dynamic View it seemed natural that the user should pinch out–as opposed to in–to pivot into the dynamic view. Last week this was implemented and even I, who came up with the idea and who think of little else, got finger-confused; I simply forgot which way to pinch?

The solution to this looks like we’ll keep only pinch in and allow the user to toggle views while pinched in, to see a timeline, ToC, freeform etc. but the point is that the experience is entirely different from the idea.

This is important because it highlights the importance of experimentation and testing. What is not invented yet is truly an unexplored landscape so we can not map it further than we can see. We need don’t need a map, we need goals and paradigms guiding us. As they (could say): “A use interface plan never survives contact with the user”

Published inLiquid | AuthorLiquid | ViewPhDThoughts

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