4: All Fingers and Thumbs: Multitouch Interface Design and Implementation in Objective-C

Painting DataMatrix in Objective-C 4: All Fingers and Thumbs: Multitouch Interface Design and Implementation

CHAPTER 4: All Fingers and Thumbs: Multitouch Interface Design and Implementation
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Figure 4-5. If the slate is held still and released at this point, it will slide back into place, as the next slide s threshold has not yet been crossed.
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Figure 4-6. Here, the second slide s slate is the one that will slide into place.
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CHAPTER 4: All Fingers and Thumbs: Multitouch Interface Design and Implementation
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The problem was that if you flicked the slate a little bit, it would not move far enough to change slides. This seems reasonable until you consider the weight and inertia of the slate. When flicked, people subconsciously expect the slate to keep going until friction slows it to a stop. So, it s not the slate s position when the finger is released that we should be checking, it s the position where the slate comes to a halt. But, we also want to be responsive, so we don t want to wait for the slate to animate to a stop before deciding. Instead, we predict based on the slate s speed where it will end up and take the decision immediately. This helped enormously. This example illustrates what we mean by considering the user s mental model: trying to figure out what, even subconsciously, people expect the interface to do when poked. Because the finger-on-screen interaction is more direct and visceral than the indirect poking of a mouse, users have different expectations. Sometimes, you need to decide what the user s trying to do, and then rule out other options (at least, until enough fingers have cleared the screen for you to reset). For example, as well as swiping slates from side to side to change slides, you can also scroll your notes up and down. There s no technical reason we couldn t allow your finger to move in two dimensions, simultaneously scrolling notes and dragging the slate to one side. But there s also no earthly reason why a user would want to do that, and it would drive users crazy if their notes were slipping and sliding from side to side while they tried to scroll them. As a result, we track user movement, quickly decide whether the intention is to scroll or drag, and lock the behavior accordingly. The result feels much more solid and reassuring. It s like the difference between walking across a typical road bridge and walking across one of those wood-plank-and-rope bridges from Indiana Jones movies, shaking under every footstep. We want our users to feel confident!
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Implementing Multitouch Controls
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The sample application shows how to interpret a variety of multitouch actions, decide between ambiguous ones, handle multiple simultaneous gestures, and correctly handle gestures happening in different views. It presents two pinball-bumper style graphical gadgets sitting on a backdrop (see Figure 4-7) and supports the following commands: Swipe the backdrop up and down with your finger to change backdrop image. Use a single finger to drag the gadgets around, as if they attached directly to your finger. Flick the gadgets around with simple physical simulation.
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CHAPTER 4: All Fingers and Thumbs: Multitouch Interface Design and Implementation
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Pinch/unpinch to shrink or stretch the gadgets. Double-tap a gadget to reset it to its default size. Rotate the gadget with two fingers. Two-finger drag to lock the movement of the gadget to one axis. Additionally, one of the gadgets offers free-form stretch and rotate, while the other is modelocked, where you can either rotate or stretch it but not both at the same time; we use the view s Tag property to set this (see Figure 4-8). If you re building along at home, check Figure 4-9 to see how the Interface Builder document is set out.
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Figure 4-7. The bumper in the top-left corner can be rotated, moved, and scaled simultaneously. The bumper in the bottom-right corner locks into one mode at a time.
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Figure 4-8. We set the Tag of the bottom-right bumper to 1, to indicate this is the one that exhibits mode-locked behavior (the other is left at the default, 0).
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