iPhone keyboards designed for diverse human needs

Whilst taking the train home the other day, I spotted someone making interesting gestures on their iPhone screen. I was intrigued. It looked like they were using a drawing app but in a text message. Upon closer inspection, I saw that they were writing Chinese characters in a blank space at the bottom of the screen which were then auto-recognised by the phone, presenting a number of characters to select. I found this fascinating.

Apple definitely took a “thinking human” approach for their keyboards and designed with a globally diverse human needs in mind. You can choose from keyboard layouts for Chinese and other languages in your settings. They could’ve easily just offered a single keyboard with Chinese characters mapped to it and left it at that but instead they thought (and most likely observed) how people message each other and created a handwriting focused one as well. Great design.

Apple included this early on iOS software, according to this article on MacRumors: “Apple Includes Chinese Handwriting Recognition in iPhone 2.0 Beta”.

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Thinking human – observations of physical and digital experiences

I had a moment of inspiration this week for a new name for this blog: “Thinking Human”. It describes my design approach: solving human problems by understanding human needs. Through design observations in this blog and my work as UX designer and developer, I’ve learned that great physical and digital experiences are created when humans are at the centre. Often we get it the other way around and create technology that’s not based on a real human need.

My goal is to learn. Through this blog, I will capture my observations from a human perspective of good, enjoyable, well designed experiences as well as poor, annoying, badly designed experiences. By writing about my observations and deconstructing designs, I hope to learn the genetics of good and bad design.

The featured image is my first made in Adobe Illustrator