We’re at that same point as we were in the mid-80s to early ‘90s, when computer UIs were making the leap from 80 * 24 character interfaces (or perhaps 40 * 24, or if you had a VIC-20, a mere 22 columns) to GUIs and mice. This time, the new UIs are multitouch, and just as Solitaire taught millions how to click and drag, smartphones and touchscreens are now getting users to learn a new vocabulary consisting of touch gestures like tapping, flicking and pinching. As it was back then, today’s touch-driven, “natural” user interfaces aren’t just new territory for the users, but for developers as well.
One book worth checking out is the early access edition (it’s a work in progress) of Manning’s Natural User Interfaces in .NET. It’s a primer on creating NUIs and multitouch applications using the WPF and Silverlight multitouch APIs. It introduces the ideas and principles of natural user interfaces and then covers the WPF Touch API and Surface Toolkit as it walks you through the development of a multitouch application, and also learn how these concepts can be applied to Silverlight applications.
Manning’s got a deal that’s good for today (Saturday, January 22) only: use the discount code dotd0122cc in the promotional code box when you purchase either the ebook or ebook/paper book combo and save half off the price! Since the book is an early access edition, it means you get the current draft in PDF immediately, access to updates, and the final version when the book is complete (plus the paper version if you ordered the ebook/paper book combo). With this discount, the price of the ebook is below $20, a steal when you consider it’s an investment into learning about up-and-coming tech.
Also worth checking out: a “green paper” titled What is the Natural User Interface? It’s written by Joshua Blake, author of Natural User Interfaces in .NET, defines what NUIs are, how they’re evolving and how they’ll place a role in up-and-coming devices.