Fingerprints and iPads - No Two Are Alike

George Kokkinidis, from Design Language News, recently did an interesting study called “Remnants of a Disappearing UI”. He studied the fingerprint patterns on the surface of his iPad using different applications, and the results are visually interesting.

Because the primary input method of the iPad is a single piece of multitouch glass, developers have incredible flexibility to design unique user interfaces. It’s hard to appreciate the variety of UIs though, since turning the screen off removes virtually all evidence of them. To spotlight these differences, I looked at the only fragments that remain from using an app: fingerprints.

George’s method involved cleaning the iPad’s screen before use, using a specific app for a short amount of time, then turning the iPad off. Then he photographed the iPad, imported the images into Adobe Illustrator, and placed them inside a vector-based iPad mortise. His technique helped the fingerprints emphasize his “touchy” data.

(click here for detailed full-size image)

When using Safari.app, he held the iPad with his left hand and scrolled with his right index finger towards the center of the screen. It allowed for close proximity when clicking on links. When reading something lengthier, he held the iPad with both hands and scrolled with his thumbs. When using Mail.app, he held the iPad with both hands so he could thumb-scroll both the email list and the content of the messages. When playing Fruit Ninja, there were very few static prints, even the menu items use finger slashing. It is all about being a ninja, right? When playing Fieldrunners, the bottom menu is essential, as you can see by weapon deployment swipes and taps, most actions start there.

Maybe you think this post is different from most but I think it’s a great example of how we use one single device to manipulate in so many different ways. When I read the post this morning, it just caught my eye and being a person that loves data, this was one I couldn’t pass up. There are great visuals and it studies an aspect of usage that people wipe clean every day, our fingerprints, or impressions, on our devices. George is right, developers really do have incredible flexibility when designing apps, each one is different. It’s like what they say about fingerprints, no two are alike.

[via Design Language News]

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