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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Capturing My Design Observations

Design Observr is an intersection of three of my interests:

  1. Observing – observation, details, visuals, detectives, sherlock holmes
  2. Design – experiences & ux, usability, accessibility, visual design, interaction design
  3. Writing –  stories, creative writing, descriptions

I’ve had an interest in design and user experience for a number of years which has manifested mostly into my projects at work. I’ve done a lot of reading about web design and UX on sites like smashingmagazine,  a list apart, lifehacker and following design blogs on twitter.

Learning design through reading is a good introduction as there are a ton of resources, too many in fact, to stay up with as I found out. The next step for me is getting my hands dirty.

This is blog is about learning design through capturing my observations and deconstructing designs into their elements.