UIEtips: Capturing the Interesting Moments

Jared Spool

February 9th, 2011

I’ve always been in awe of high-speed photography, like the pictures of Harold Edgerton. You’ve probably seen his classics: shooting a bullet through an apple or what a drop of milk looks like when it collides with other milk.

What I love about these pictures is how he’s slowed down time. Once it’s slower, we can see details we couldn’t see before.

Turns out we need to slow down time when we’re designing sophisticated interactions. There’s a ton of things happening when we drag an object on the screen or scroll through text. If we want to ensure these interactions feel natural, we have to first slow down time so we can talk about what’s happening.

In today’s UIEtips, we look back at an article we originally published in July 2010. In the article, I talk about a technique that Bill Scott showed me for slowing down time. It’s called the Interesting Moments Grid and it’s a living deliverable that teams can use to describe what happens in the microseconds of an interaction’s lifetime. If you design interactions, I know you’ll find this fascinating.

Read the article, Capturing the Interesting Moments.

Last year, Bill Scott shared his Interesting Moments Grid at the Web App Masters Tour. His talk received rave reviews, so we asked him back for this year’s Tour. In his new talk, Bill explores how web applications handle rich interaction techniques on multiple devices and platforms. Learn about Bill’s talk and the other masters’ talks at UIETour.com.

How do you slow down time when designing your interactions? We’d love to hear your experiences. Share your ideas with us below.

Register with the promotion code WAMT by February 23, 2011 for any of the Tour cities and get $100 off.

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