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Creating a multi-window experience on Android devices.

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Role User Research, Wireframing, Prototyping
Team Mikael Metthey, Herculano Campos, Adam Crickett
Company Intel

Create a compelling multi-window experience for Android that scales across devices.

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

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.

● Benchmark & user research to identify needs and challenges.
● Technical specifications of the prototype’s behaviours.
● Documentation for communication with stakeholders.
● Collaboration with the engineering team for prototype development.

Key requirements
● Communicate to the user which window is active 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).
● Support touch as well as mouse/keyboard.
● Address potential conflict between the back button and content in far removed windows on larger displays.

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

Research: Key findings
● Constrained model:
A 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.
● 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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Key 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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A MOUSE oriented version of the multi-window solution

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A TOUCH oriented version of the multi-window solution