Reminder: Your chance to win a Microsoft Surface

imageI’m posting to remind everyone that we have a contest going on right now, put on by Microsoft Surface. The challenge is directed at creating applications that use the unique properties of the platform to address needs within the automotive, retail, healthcare, financial services, hospitality or public sector industries. See our contest page for more details. “Create the most innovative application experience and you could win your own Microsoft Surface unit.”  See current submissions out on Facebook and size up the competition or cheer on your favorites.

Developers and Designers. While the subtitle says developer challenge, we are speaking to both coders and designers. Just like the early days of GUI and the web - coders, graphic and user experience designers will need to collaborate to build a winning NUI application. Don’t try go it alone. Form a mini-team at your company that draws on different design and development practices. Be prepared to have your initial concept changed as you take it through user scenario testing.

Multiple users can break the experience of typical step-by-step wizards commonly found in single-user applications. Expect the unexpected. Your users may be sitting at any angle around the screen and they are communicating to each other both verbally and non-verbally to negotiate rules for sharing. Don’t forget to add elements of delight, even if you’re working with a serious scenario. Delight doesn’t have to mean childish. Remember that you’re working with really cool tech here and there are subtle ways to make that experience more exciting.

I’ve seen hundreds and hundreds of applications on Surface. The best lead with the scenario, focus on Surface’s strengths (direct interaction, multi-user, multi-touch and object recognition), provide user delight and then they test, test and test.

The contest ends October 12, 2009. Hurry up! See the official rules.

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