Repetitive Swipe Injury - Challenging Design Conventions Within Tablet Publishing
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Conventions for designing app based publications for tablet computers are in the process of being formed. These conventions derive from a number of existing sources, including Nielsen Norman Group studies into web interface usability, Apple's Human Interface Guidelines, and concepts for 'MAG+' developed by BERG for Bonnier Group, prior to the launch of the first iPad. This paper argues that relying fully on existing sources to devise tablet design conventions may limit innovation within this field and fail to exploit the unique faculties of the tablet computer platform. The origins of the tablet computer are traced back to Alan Kay (1970), sensorimotor learning in children, and then linked to investigations in lateral thinking in children by Edward de Bono (1970) Examples of existing iPad app publications are examined, critiqued, and found to draw heavily from existing physical and digital publication forms in their design. An alternate approach to tablet publication design is proposed, based on 'child-like' lateral idea generation, using the unique characteristics of the tablet device as a starting point. A table of possible ways forward for tablet app publication design is presented, under then headings of 'generative', 'responsive', 'immersive' and 'emersive' types.
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