Kinetic UI: Exploring new paradigms for mobile computing

Session Title

Kinetic UI: Exploring new paradigms for mobile computing


Ric Ewing, Prarthana Panchal, Parker Kuncl, T-Mobile !Creation Center

Session Type: Demo

What do you get when you put an experience designer, a flash developer and a recent media design grad in a room together? You get the right set of disciplines to tackle the next big challenge in mobile user experiences.

Kinetic UI explores the intersection of the mobile GUI and physical input methods. The project is a series of experiments that look to answer… “what comes after multi-touch?”

The mobile device is at odds with increasing information complexity, while remaining saddled with the same small screen and fixed inputs. We’ll explore what happens when you design beyond the screen, leveraging a vast array of sensors (accelerometer, proximity, pressure and multiple inputs), and new GUI representations that break the current molds. Inspired by everything from video games to photography, we’ll explore the likes of infinite zoom, parallax, z-depth and 3D worlds.

The session will cover research through working demos, with an exploration into:
* Co-creation exercises
* Interaction improv
* Rapid prototyping with sensors, arduino and flash
* User testing techniques

In brief, the session will present exploration of kinetic UI’s, from novel brainstorming techniques, wiring and coding of a rapid prototyping platform, through to the user testing and iterative design cycles that led to the final candidates. The session will conclude with an open discussion with the three designers.


The !Creation Center is an advanced product innovation group for T-Mobile USA, focused on exploring the next generation of user centered communications solutions.

Ric Ewing is an Emmy award winning interaction designer and Flash
developer with over 18 years experience in the creation of digital experiences.

Prarthana Panchal is an experience designer who seamlessly blends interaction and visual design to deliver innovative solutions. She is known for her collaborative efforts @ Artefact in generating an award winning user experience and interaction design for Microsoft’s World Wide Telescope.

Parker Kuncl is a new comer to the team, infusing art with science. He brings a “maker” philosophy to each project and is usually found hiding in the shop soldering together an arduino board or hacking input controllers.


  1. Joyce Chou
    Posted September 15, 2009 at 3:21 am

    This sounds like an amazing topic that is really tapping into a groundswell of cultural interest in an integrated physical interaction experience.

    I went to an IDSA even recently that had a series of talks on how the physical and digital forms of interaction come together with ID and IDx working in close collaboration. I hope to see more of this type of work shared out soon!

  2. Posted September 15, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Mobile devices are the tech interface of the future– desktops are becoming a thing of the past. And this team’s focus is the next big question… what comes after the iPhone and other multitouch devices?

    The T-Mobile Creation Center is a hotbed of great ideas, and these three members are extremely talented. Any presentation they could think of making would be well worth a watch.