[From the video, slightly edited:] Having a laptop open in a research interview puts a barrier between you and the person you're interviewing, and the typing can be quite distracting and intimidating for the interviewee. But typed notes are searchable, making for very useful reference when you’re synthesizing your notes. OneNote is a nice compromise. With a Tablet in slate mode, we remove the physical barrier of the laptop, and as long as you have the pen in a “Create Handwriting” mode, you can later go back and search your notes as if they were typed. (The handwriting recognition is pretty amazing.) Read More
In a prior post I explained how Cooper uses OneNote as a tool for Design Meetings. In this post I'm going to presume you're a designer and eager to get a quick primer to the tool. Then I'll share some best practices we've developed at Cooper.
A quick primer: Five tools
OneNote is a rich program, meant for a number of different scenarios. Here I’m only going to introduce the most basic concepts you need to get going on using OneNote as a quick design sketching tool.
1. The infinite canvas
You write on a canvas that is for all practical purposes, infinite. You can simply use the touch screen to slide to empty paper. That canvas can have a grid-paper like background, or it can be white. For most of the time I leave that grid on, to help keep lines straight and aesthetically pleasing. Read More
Whiteboards are cool, I guess. Fast, easy, familiar. But really, they're nothing compared to digital sketching. At Cooper, we use digital sketching in almost all of our projects, and almost always in OneNote. In the next few posts I'll share how we use it and why we think it's awesome, see what you think. But first, to whet your appetite, some example drawings from Cooper designers straight out of the program.
These aren't meant to be finished designs, of course, but examples of how communicative and illustrative designers can be with their earliest ideas using the tool, and doing so very quickly. Each of our designers has their particular way of working, but in general we share the same setup.
Cooper is honored and delighted to receive the award for “Best in Category, Optimizing”. We are proud to be in the company of some of the most creative and innovative designers and grateful to the Interaction Awards Jury for their consideration.
Over a year ago, Cooper teamed up with Practice Fusion to design an app that revolved around how medical professionals think. Instead of asking them to learn a new way of organizing information, this EMR for iPad app leveraged their natural mental model of treating and working with people. This app significantly simplified and reduced the work of using an EMR by eliminating complex navigation and abstract categories. Now doctors can clearly view and capture details about their patients, without being chained behind a desktop.
To create our new iPad interface, which just released as a beta version to active providers, Practice Fusion partnered with the award-winning design firm Cooper. Cooper is renowned for its work across the design world, from startups to over a third of the Fortune 500, with its emphasis on creating simple and enjoyable user experiences.
Our iPad User Experience Designer, Kramer Weydt (R), worked closely with Cooper’s Stefan Klocek (L) to make the Cooper design a reality. We met to chat about the process:
First of all, what exactly was your role on the iPad design?
Stefan Klocek: We are user experience designers, meaning we focus specifically on how users interact with the EMR. Instead of just designing from scratch, we first understand our user’s needs and we determine how we can fulfill those needs with the technical resources we have available.
Kramer Weydt: We’re not doctors, but we understand how people interact with devices and we learn from doctors what they need from this technology through research and interviews.
Cooper recently brought back the Friday Afternoon Social Hour! Everyone enjoyed Suzy's seriously strong sangria and tasty tapas, and the great conversations in this all around good time. If this sounds like how you'd like to wrap up the work week, join us! We are currently looking for a Business Development Manager.
*Download the sample .Sketch file from my Dribbble account.
Sketch 2.0 is a new Mac application designed to be what Adobe Fireworks has struggled to become: the defacto standard for interface design. With a toolset targeting the professional user interface and icon designer, Sketch seems to be headed down the right path.
Sketch is not without its issues and may not be mature enough to replace Photoshop or Fireworks as of the version 1 release; however it's an excellent start and well worth your time to checkout.
Several of us at Cooper are very excited by Sketch, so expect a more detailed review soon. In the meantime, checkout Sketch for yourself.
The Monoprice Graphics Tablet
*Video Monoprice Graphics Tablet line quality by Ray Frenden.
With a starting price of under $50 for a 10X6.25 inch graphic drawing tablet, the Monoprice tablet seems too good to be true. After reading Ray's review and a quick twitter search of other Monoprice tablet users, I've become a believer and am seriously considering replacing my Wacom Bamboo tablet.
Checkout the Monoprice tablets for yourself; it just might save you a couple hundred bucks.
Stay up-to-date with your favorite web service feeds
If you're a Basecamp, Github, Dropmark, or Dribbble user, you might find Feeds interesting. Feeds lives in your menu bar monitoring your favorite web services, notifying you when new content is posted.
Dialoggs enters private beta
Dialoggs is a new web service that just entered it's private beta phase. Dialoggs describes it's self as a combination of Twitter, Facebook's privacy controls, and Tumbler's multimedia features.
Dialoggs allows you to follow people and send public and private messages just like in Twitter. What separates Dialoggs from Twitter, and what I'm most excited about, is Dialoggs ability to have long form conversations. Not having to worry about how many characters I have left? Priceless!
With the rise of mobile devices, more and more I need to be able to move files from my desktop to my mobile devices. Apple, Google, and Microsoft, along with several other third parties, have developed solutions but nothing that delivers a truly seamless user experience. Interaction designer Ishac Betran, in his article "Watch This Ingenious UI Idea For Dragging Files From Your Phone To Computer" details an elegant seamless drag-n-drop solution.
iPad Keyboard Prototype
Another interesting concept is the "iPad Keyboard Prototype" created by Daniel Chase Hooper. The video demonstrates a simple, intuitive way for simplifying text editing on the iPad. Instead of tap-and-hold to edit text, the user can swipe the cursor around the text block to quickly edit the text.
App pick of the week: Track 8
Track 8 brings the Metro experience to your iPad in a slick music player, allowing you to browse your music in an immersive visual experience.
At Cooper, we love to share what we learn in our consulting work. We've published and socialized techniques and tools for doing interaction design in our books, at conferences, and through Cooper U. Recently, Apple released the iBooks Author platform, and a few of us have been giving it a test run.
The platform itself has lots of potential. There is much to improve, but the possibilities are interesting and it's too early to critique it too strongly. There's been much talk already about the EULA and whether or not this will disrupt education. It's too early to make that call, though. Our initial impression? It's an accessible tool aimed at a user population that, up to this point, hasn't been equipped to produce engaging and usable interactive educational content.
In our trial run, we produced a look book with some of recent work, including slideshows, imagery and video. It's a little rough in some areas, but we'd love to see what you think. You can download it via the link below and share your thoughts in the comments section.