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Friday, November 13, 2015

App UI : iPad Pro and Anki OverDrive

For this posting, I would like to talk about my thoughts on designing for 'edge-cases'. I'm suggesting a fix that might be considered an edge-case. This is a product for younger children, in particular young boys. 

How many children are going to have an expensive iPad pro, iPad Air 2, samsung Galaxy View or another larger device?

For edge-cases like this, I still like to produce design solutions that solve for all. 

However these suggestions would need to consider against larger issues that might offer more value to be addressed. For example, the battery life of the cars might be a much larger issue? During games, your car battery will die during a battle, which is quite disruptive.





UX suggestions for larger screens ( iPad Pro - Samsung - etc )

A lot games are going to have to consider making alternative UI schemes for the new larger devices. Games and RC control UI generally utilize the entire screen. Including products like parrot drone, sphero, bb-8 and even a company I used to work for Anki. I’m going to suggest solutions that would improve the experience for my former company and products - Anki OverDrive and Drive.

OverDrive is amazing fun, I highly recommend giving it a try :) 


The iPad Pro weighs over 1 pound and has a large screen. Users will rest the weight of the device on their thighs, and they will sit down more. This is much different than playing with a lightweight phone. 

In Anki OverDrive Lane-switching is done by rotating the device, using the gyros. This will be fatiguing and should be re-thought, or at least be an option you can disable/enable.

You also tap the buttons hundreds of times per game and the distance between them will fatigue your hands.



Wouldn’t it be cooler to let the player tap their controls where they want them? With less distance for thumb travel needed? 

Where they tap is where the UI mounts, the UI could be moved by tapping in a new location, it is dynamic and you control the placement.

I see much less hand fatigue and a much better gameplay experience. Could you imagine the thumb fatigue with the old UI? 


These devices are so large, younger folks might want to hold them in portrait mode. This provides a more controlled grip on the larger and heavier devices.

This orientation also allows for less accidental ‘home’ button presses. Accidentally pressing the ‘home’ button closes the app!


It also doesn’t cover the 4 speakers for better sound presence. When your hands cover the speakers it mutes the sound, a big part of this game is the sound feedback.



30% of the world’s population is Left-Handed. Wouldn’t it also be cool to have a UI setting for Left-Handed mode? Allow the player to pick sides for the controls?