Rethinking Tablet UX

Talk with James Wu • Saturday 9:45 am

In this talk, we’ll take a look at how mobile interface design has been defined to date, and explore a new take on the tablet interface that places consumers and their content consumption far more centrally in the design process and final product.

The iPhone was first unveiled to the public over 5 years ago, and since that time has established the UX paradigm that essentially defines main stream mobile touch interface design. This paradigm is defined by facilitating a user’s navigation into, out of and between apps. However, content is the true focus of a user’s attention when using mobile computing devices. So the incumbent approach relegates the core of a user’s experience with theses devices to the 3rd parties that define these apps. This talk will look at a new take on the tablet interface that re-imagines how users find, access and consume content, and how it emerged in the design of the recently announced Kobo Arc tablet.

Who’s Wu?

Fluxible says: James can read you like a book, though we’re not yet sure if people are more like eBooks or the traditional paper kind. (Our guess is Choose Your Own Adventure). James originally got into the “better mousetrap” game designing tools for software developers, and these days focuses on the digital reading experience at Kobo. We figure with a good book and a fine scotch (another of his passions), he’s definitely on the right track.

James came to the field of User Experience from a research background, studying computer science in undergrad, and as he moved into graduate school, becoming interested in how the properties of different development tools made them more or less useful to developers building large scale applications. He studied different ways of analyzing development tasks and comparing them to available tools, then set about designing better tools that bridged the gaps they found. This was before he even knew he could get real job as User Experience professional.

James began his career outside of academics as a usability analyst, then moving quickly into the architecture side, having always had a soft spot for good interface design and ergonomics. He’s done UX for companies such as AOL, BMW, DirecTV and OfficeMax, and in fields ranging from distributed computing middleware to social HR software. Working at Kobo in Toronto as the UX Lead for Tablets, his current focus is on eBooks and digital reading, and more specifically on the devices that deliver the digital reading experience.

In his spare time he enjoys all things with wheels – cars, motorcycles and bicycles. He spends as much time as possible with his kids, and enjoys the pleasures of fine wines and scotches.

James Wu

James Wu

Work: Kobo