Category Archives: fame

The BBC show how to design an iPhone carousel


The BBC’s new iPlayer Radio app has a carousel at the bottom of the screen that you can use to scroll through the various channels.

At first when I saw it I thought it was a bit skeuomorphic: I thought the design team were trying to replicate a circular tuning dial that you might find on a physical device.

But when you use it, you realise it’s actually a very clever design. This is because, when you’re using it with one hand, your thumb moves in an arc. This makes the interaction very natural — even ‘ergonomic’.

Like most of what the BBC do, the whole app is very well thought through. I love the way that a publicly-owned organisation like the BBC is showing its richer competitors how to do user experience design.

Keyboard accelerators for web sites

A common refrain in usability is to support expert users. This often boils down to giving users shortcuts for common tasks: one of my personal favourites on the web is Amazon’s ‘One Click’ button that allows you to purchase a book with just, well, one click. Within desktop applications, expert users are much better supported with tools like keyboard accelerators. Curiously, very few web sites appear to support keyboard shortcuts, but I came across this excellent example at flickr recently. When you want to scan through lots of photos, these shortcuts are a real boon.