Steven Hoober's profile

4ourth Mobile Touch Template

Designing mobile interfaces, or interactions, is all about making stuff actual people can use in their daily lives.
If you keep this in mind, and use some guidelines, especially specific to mobile interfaces, we applaud you. But most guidelines involve measuring in Photoshop, or Fireworks. Measuring sizes and spaces in pixels. And, measuring with digital tools, on laptop screens. Not in the real world at all.
Your finger cannot be measured in pixels. Your eyeballs see photons, not pixels. And more or less of them depending on how far away you get from the screen. We need to set aside the 44 px cadence, and any other guidelines that are resolution dependent. We need to get off the computer, and try things out on real devices.
Developers of mobile sites, or apps, say "you aren't testing, if you aren't testing on the device." Well, the same is true for designing and specifying interactive elements on the screen. You should already be taking your wireframes, or Fireworks templates, and exporting to raster images. Send them to the device, and just look at them in a photo gallery. You can even get surprisingly good "paper prototype" like user test results with this.
As mobile design matures, I think it's past time that we deserve our own tools. While some drawing tools exist, there are no inspection tools. There's no equivalent to the pica sticks, type scales and other measuring, evaluating and approving devices the print world had.
So I've made this. A dedicated inspection tool for mobile devices, and especially for touch devices. This went through a few interations, partly from my experience and partly from others contributing their ideas to the design.
I had to pull back all of my historical knowledge of package design, mailing standards, and learn a lot about product design for an all new area. It took about 6 months just to find a stencil maker, and before that I got prototypes made at a local laser cutting shop (which didn't work very well, actually). 
As you can see, there are the stencils, sleeves and not shown is the mailers, address labels, invoices, etc. 
To buy one, visit the home page for the project:
4ourth Mobile Touch Template

4ourth Mobile Touch Template

I developed a physical, wallet-sized design and inspection tool for mobile touchscreen interface and interaction design.


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