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Android PC

Creating a multi-window experience on Android tablets.

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Role User Research, Design Lead, Prototyping and Production
Team Herculano Campos, Adam Crickett, Mikael Metthey
Company Intel

GOAL
To create a compelling multi-window experience for Android that scales across devices.

DESIGN
A solution that works for mouse and touch which lets users easily manage windows on the Android home screen.

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Made for touch
● Non-overlapping windows have better and easier touch targets for direct window manipulation

Consistency
● Users switch quickly between devices and displays during the day.
● Giving them a consistent experience across devices and displays is crucial.

No hidden information
● Users struggle to find hidden windows or waste time managing the windows to uncover information.
● Non-overlapping windows give a cleaner and clearer visualisation of all the content in windows.

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Research
A 3 weeks research project aimed at learning from people’s current usages, culminating in validation in the testing sessions.

More and more users are coming from a mobile perspective, their first computing experience is with a smartphone or tablet. In the mobile environment the application is king, files are secondary.

The constrained model allows for users to see what is open at all times. They can choose to work with full screen apps if they wish to do so.

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Window operations
● Open app into window
● Open subsequent applications into separate windows in the same ‘space’
● Minimise a window
● Maximise a window
● Close a window
● Display and easily manage minimised windows
● Resize a window
● Move a window to a new position

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Opening subsequent apps in multiple windows
Apps can be opened by dragging or pressing suggested apps or pressing the “all apps” button.

Considerations
● Must communicate to the user the ‘focused’ window (which window I’m working in now)
● Define a grid system with rules to manage window placement and snapping
● Elegantly manage the transition when a larger display is connected to the device (output scaling, window re-flow)
● Must support touch as well as mouse/keyboard
● Potential disconnect between the back button and content in far removed windows on larger displays.