Notion Ink

Week-End Special – Part VI

Posted in Uncategorized by Rohan Shravan on October 30, 2010

Dear All,

Last week passed like a day!

First an announcement:

  • Voting has been closed and you have selected your winner! Notion Ink will go with you choice.  Notion Ink will get in touch with all the top 10, because we have something special for all of  them! Will post the results on Monday (need to take permissions from the Winner that we can use it commercially)

Here is a short video on the 1080P performance and Full Volume (it’s really loud, so keep your volumes low)

You will  find audio and video out of sync cos of software conversion from MOV format to MP4.

Lets talk about the UI little bit.

The Aqua (Aero, Glass and Gloss)

We feel they all are one. At Notion Ink, we are definitely not in love with Gloss. Here are the current generation icons and styling:

(iTunes, WMP, Playbook, Samsung Galaxy and then Android in order).

You can see that Android was already little low on gloss for their icon sets and we are further away from it.

The Browser

We faced a very serious issue of how to handle the tabs. (Those who have or see other Android Tablets around, do check how the tabs work on their browsers and they would know!) Tabs are essential, without them we will die! That’s multi-tasking as well! There was also an issue of how to NOT BLOCK the screen and not force the user to “go hit menu and then “tabs opened” then select the one you want. That’s not Notion Ink style.

We wanted speed. Speed of switching, closing, opening the closed tab, and closing all in multiple and that through our thick fingers. This is what we have come up with:

Tab System

Internally we keep on fighting to push one system or the other. One team would think theirs is the best idea and other the same. But the best results and options comes from our very special Usability Team which will test all the feature, measure the reactions and easy and then report which path to go!

The Panels

These images will first be previewed by those who get the EAP and the SDK access. To make the UI development seamless and easy, we have converted our ideation into guidelines. Here is an example:

The more on how to design seamless interaction will get covered in the “UI Blog” which we mentioned.

There is still a lot of restriction (from patent lawyers and investors) on what I can reveal and what I can’t and I have to agree to their stand. I am waiting eagerly with you to get the Power Table Up so we all can check our usages.

With Warm Regards

Rohan Shravan

737 Responses

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  1. lohit said, on October 30, 2010 at 12:32

    first to see this!

    • gara said, on October 30, 2010 at 16:53

      Sorry Rohan, but the tab system looks pretty darn ugly, also pushing content so far from the left edge… I prefer good readability over having tabs “always” ready

    • Tarwinia said, on October 30, 2010 at 17:31

      I don’t think it pushes things so far from the left edge. I get the impression they pop up when you place your finger on the semi-circle. This would make it easy to use while holiding it in one or two hands (well, one handed if it’s the left hand or if they give you the choice to switch the half-moon to the other side). It’s right there always at your fingertip (thumb-tip technically :) ) but without it taking up too much screen real estate when you don’t need them. I agree it’s not the prettiest solution (looks kind of haphazard) but as a pop-up it works and functionality-wise it seems a great solution.

    • andrew britton said, on October 30, 2010 at 17:55

      Yeah they will only show when the sreen is pressed. But they shouldn’t be in rectangles like that- Looks messy and not cery cool- idea is good but looks like poor execution IMO

    • iamapirate said, on October 30, 2010 at 18:24

      nah, I think it’s pretty cool! The Adam looks as though it’s going for the ‘sophisticated messiness’ half-grunge look to me. I love it.

    • Ash said, on October 30, 2010 at 18:56

      @andrew britton

      No it does not. I think the tabs look like this when we stretch the UI with finger. This is rubberband effect.

    • Matt said, on October 30, 2010 at 19:33

      Yeah I agree it looks really ugly, and seems pretty un-notion ink like to me. Not very streamlined. But if it’s the only thing I don’t like about this tablet I’ll be a very happy man.

    • Darius_bd said, on October 30, 2010 at 22:04

      Gotta agree that it’s a good idea but not nicely executed. I’d prefer something less “pseudo-ergonomic” or “thumb-based”. Something like the WP7 start menu would be nice, panels flipping out in order. Ya know, golden ratio panels ;] Those strips looks ugly. Better to keep a one unique _concept_ along the whole UI, and since it’s already about panels…

      The other thing is I clap about new icons. If you ask me, I think the ideal would be the elegance + coolness. Minimalistic dual color icons would be ideal, something like WP7 icons or the ones in Blackberry. Unified icons. Ideally, also a icon library to choose to customize installed 3rd party apps, so the UI all looks cohesive trough the icons.

      Finally, just LOL about the tab ;D To be honest, I dont think they’ll love it, so, just keep on doing the great work and everybody will know it’s done with care. Stuff like demystifing the “minimum 15-hours long” post was a very welcomed one.

    • janus-x said, on October 30, 2010 at 23:20

      You’right but I don’t think it’s the final design. He is most likely showing us prototype screenshots probably because of patent issues. Even for the video we were never shown the UI action that opened the movie. Just a full screen video playing.

    • Klang said, on October 30, 2010 at 23:32

      I have to subscribe and agree with everyone here, the way you presented the tabs … pretty unprofessional look! It might look better in hand, when you use it, but the image posted here is pretty ugly. It really looks unorganized, messy, like you just dropped your books on the floor and now you’re looking for the good one. I don’t understand, why not just have this in the form of a pop-up menu? same button, same location on the screen, but instead it opens a side panel that contains the open tabs and the +tab (as shown in the image you already take up that screen-“real estate” with these ugly panels)…

      I think the fact that the panels are square, but you place the radially leads to a pretty unpleasant visual effect…

    • KJ said, on October 31, 2010 at 00:41

      I agree, these tabs are not a pretty sight – yes, they do look ugly. They look like the swiss knife utilities. Sorry Rohan, you make not like my comments, but I am sure you are seeking an honest opinion, and that is what I am trying to do.

    • bertosentoro said, on October 31, 2010 at 01:28

      how you now it’s going to look like that on final product?

      that looks more like an earlier diagram. notice the name on capital letters?
      Rohan seems to be restricted on showing the most recent looks.

    • mookiemu said, on October 31, 2010 at 03:59

      i like it. very clever.

    • Tarwinia said, on October 31, 2010 at 05:55

      @Klang I don’t know what the final version will be like but I can say that a pop-up menu like you say would not be as convenient as this. This you just swipe your thumb in a circular motion, no need to move the entire hand. With this design you could switch/open/close tabs basically in a second. Press switch, press close, press open. The menu would pop up and disappear almost immediately. I agree it doesn’t look very pretty but as iamapirate said it can be funky in a grunge mess kind of way. And personally I could like it (I love a bit of orderly chaos, too much order actually puts me off and confuses me).

    • random_n said, on October 31, 2010 at 09:56

      I think you’ve almost got the right idea, Tarwinia, but typically a pie menu like this would only involve *one* press.

      I think the Tegra here may even have enough power to provide full page switching as you run over the tabs. The tab interface would essentially work as a press and hold on that floating side button, the tabs would quickly fly out in a slick animation, and then you would drag your thumb over to the right and scrub through the tab list with the whole screen switching between tabs as it happens (think like mousing between the Internet Explorer thumbnails in the Windows 7 taskbar). Despite being technically in the foreground, the tab interface would become much more of a background element that you wouldn’t really look at even while you use it.

      I think a system like this would be limited to around fifteen or fewer tabs, but that’s really more than ample enough for a mobile device. Above all, it would be fast and intuitive. It’s definitely original. And with just the right touches and cues, it could even be beautiful.

      Man, I want of one these things.

    • Vishesh Doshi said, on October 31, 2010 at 22:37

      +1 ..I agree with gara. Same point.

    • Jay Pee said, on November 1, 2010 at 21:09

      I also agree, it looks ugly and has no real world relationship to the ‘tab’ as we see in the file folder cabinet. Better approach could be use downward swipe initiated from outside on top and flip open to show the tabs in a fan folding style. Hard to describe, see below the links …

      Calendar Mask for Tickler File—printed-paper-cover-613.jpg (minus the handle bar)

    • Vladimir Kelman said, on November 1, 2010 at 23:18

      As Tarwinia said, “I get the impression they pop up when you place your finger on the semi-circle. This would make it easy to use while holding it in one or two hands.. It’s right there always at your fingertip (thumb-tip technically ) but without it taking up too much screen real estate when you don’t need them.”

      I think it’s a nice idea.

    • Eli said, on November 2, 2010 at 19:47

      I have to agree. I am more of a minimalist when it comes to screen design. Too much is too overhwhelming and IMHO isn’t a relaxing experience.

    • KShu said, on October 30, 2010 at 22:12

      This sucks!!!, I thought you said this was going to be a big weekend update! not good info!. WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Curtis said, on October 31, 2010 at 21:04

      I don’t like the strips on the left at all. It looks very poor to me, very haphazard and “messy” It doesn’t seem to flow with the other parts of the UI you have shown. There has got to be a more visually appealing way to present this.

      Back to the drawing board.

    • Vishesh Doshi said, on October 31, 2010 at 22:43

      Rohan ,
      What about the left handed ppl! have u ever given a thought about those sheer mass of ppl?
      Any plans to have the track pad to control it with the left & the right hand? Seprate devices for both kind of users?

    • gecko said, on November 1, 2010 at 09:02

      Um – a slightly delicate topic, but in some respects, it might be culturally inappropriate to accommodate left-handed people. Let me put it this way: Assuming that you’re Indian, which hand do you eat with?

    • vishesh said, on November 1, 2010 at 12:49

      how would that matter gecko? wats u’r point? i don’t get it!
      Indian or non-Indian, there are left handed ppl all around the world. It doesn’t matter where u r from. It’s just about addressing certain community of ppl who r left handed.
      So which side will the track pad be is important.
      Personally i am so used to using the mouse in the right hand. And so, i shall expect to have the track-pad placed on the right side in rear of Adam. Ammm…! or may be left? i don’t know. Have to try it, to find out the comfort level. :-)

    • gecko said, on November 1, 2010 at 21:44

      @ Vishesh”

      I’ve never been to India (yet?) but I understand that the situation is similar to that in Indonesia where the left hand is, at least traditionally, used for, um, sanitary purposes, preferably involving splashing water rather than, as in the west, rubbing with dry paper. Obviously this takes place in private. But if you eat with your left hand or hand someone something with your left hand, it’s regarded as distasteful if not outright disgusting.

      Perhaps the Adams should have a message permanently embossed on them: “Don’t touch with unwashed hands!” Japanese models, of course, would say something like: “We kindly request you to please wash your hands before using this Adam.”

    • adnaan said, on November 1, 2010 at 22:02

      @gecko…disgusting but a valid point … cultural ergonomics differentiation if you may…

    • levpius said, on November 1, 2010 at 23:38

      @gecko : for your ‘clever’ point, I must say you are distasteful …. in you manner of response you are disrespectful of other cultures also.

    • Raj Srivastava said, on November 2, 2010 at 23:42

      @gecko! you have a valid point dude. But believe me, left handed people use the right hand to take care of the business.

    • inmypjs said, on November 14, 2010 at 03:19

      Gecko’s point is valid. In other cultures (at least in some asian cultures) the left hand is used mostly for the handling of unsanitary activities, i.e. cleaning one’s self after doing one’s business. So you use your right to eat with or to handle food when preparing it.

    • Daniel said, on November 1, 2010 at 10:09

      I am commenting for the first time b/c I wanted to say that I really like the idea of the “strips of paper” tab solution for the browser. It looks great and seems to be a fast and simple way to tab through multiple pages using just your thumb! Very clever! I also like the movement away from the “gloss and glow” present in many other operating systems. The design challenge is to keep consistency within the design. I hope the solutions you have for the web browser inform the UI across the system. Best wishes and good luck!

      p.s. I have been watching/waiting for the Notion Ink Adam since its first announcement… i hope the device goes on sale soon!

    • KShu said, on November 3, 2010 at 09:35

      Archos tablet

  2. JAY said, on October 30, 2010 at 12:36

    Give us some dates Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeease

    • neiraj said, on October 30, 2010 at 18:05

      and thank you for camRip version of Inception trailor….. was expecting something else…. very unhappy

    • Metallicon said, on November 4, 2010 at 11:25

      You mean this UI?

    • Clay said, on October 30, 2010 at 20:39

      May 3

    • GIJoe said, on October 30, 2010 at 21:26

      LOL, a fitting reply!!

    • gecko said, on October 30, 2010 at 21:32

      Cool – May 3 would be my mother’s birthday if she were born in May, but she wasn’t, she was born in June. Hope that doesn’t mean another NI delay. (Hi, mom!)

    • Paritosh said, on October 30, 2010 at 22:04

      Your Mom reads this blog?!!!

    • gecko said, on October 30, 2010 at 23:11


      No, my mom doesn’t read this blog that I know of. I hope that satisfies all your curiosity about her….

    • Paritosh said, on October 30, 2010 at 23:34

      LOL! funny!

    • michael said, on November 2, 2010 at 19:44

      Yes, Please. What is the release data of the Adam?

  3. Joy said, on October 30, 2010 at 12:36

    I like the idea of the tab switch idea. video play looks great too. cant wait:)

  4. matt said, on October 30, 2010 at 12:37


  5. Black said, on October 30, 2010 at 12:38

    I realy LOVE the way, of handling Tabs in Adam.
    Your brilliant Rohan !!

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