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Topics For Today's iPad Meetup

From: Andrew Paul S.
Sent on: Saturday, April 3, 2010 2:36 AM
Hello Seattle iPhone App Inventors,

I can't believe that in about 8hrs we are actually going to have iPads in our midst!

First, please bring your Mac, or Hackintosh. You don't need to bring an iPad, I am sure there will be more than a few.

Following is an overview of the topics that I hope to cover:

1)Rapid Interactive Prototyping for iPad:

Prototyping is a key component to building successful software. As we implement a software idea into a software product we will invariably need to make many changes or iterations to the design. A prototype gives the ability to quickly build something that looks like the final product but requires no development. People often make prototypes by drawing pictures on note cards. One person will act as the user and another will act as the computer. When the "user" taps on the card the "computer" will swap the card as though the "user" had tapped a real button.

I want to demonstrate prototyping with Keynote. I will provide an iPad graphics kit that will allow us to quickly drag and drop ui-components onto a slide. We will then be able to use the built-in functionality of keynote to bring those buttons to life and make the product interactive. Keynote also provides drawing tools so that we can sketch in any components or ideas that are a part of the product.

2) Use cases
Use cases describe a typical usage scenario. For example if you were trying to create an app like Maps, you might create the following use case:

Goal: John is downtown and wants to find the nearest sushi restaurant so that he can go and eat sushi.

Tasks: John launches the maps app. Performs a search for "sushi", he finds a restaurant near him and reads a bit more about it he then get's directions and follows those directions to the restaurant.

Solution: John then eats sushi!

The use case involves an actor and a goal which motivates him. The use case does not involve any discusion of specific UI components. The purpose of the usecase is to focus on the actor/user and what he intends to do. Only after we really understand the goal can we begin to find the ideal user-interface.

I wanted to provide a couple topics for us to cast our ideas around for this meetup. Please bring your own topics for the group to discuss.

A) Shared Surface Concept
What if you could share an iPad screen surface over the web. What if you could play board games, share photos, or even sketch ideas so that anyone anyplace else could see them. I think one of the greatest steps forward that will come from the iPad will bit its use as a shared surface.

B) Learning Community Concept

With iPad you can read texts and also take quizes in the app. However, the most interesting part could be the possible interaction with other users who are reading the same chapter at the same time. That is, an ongoing discussion between readers could be taking place between the pages of the book. Also, live interactive competitive challenges with other students could be integrated into the text. Like, Foursquare(, winning at particular challenge could warrant new player-titles and students could compete against each other to show mastery in countless topics.

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