Alexander
Rulkens
interaction designer creative coder explorer

Zoowm : Revolutionary desktop

Redesigning the desktop experience

Screenshot of the Zoowm desktop

This Finnish startup asked for help from studio:ludens to design interaction techniques for a new way to organize and visualize the desktop.

I became a partner in this startup, helping them to drive the process to create a prototype of the product and translating the research-centered approach into an interface that was understandable by the majority of Windows users.

Year

2013

Client

Zoowm Oy

My role

Interaction designer

Team

Joona Laukkanen (CEO, Founder)

,

Jussi Lahdenniemi (programmer)

,

Wouter Walmink (interaction design)

,

Timo Elomaa (business)

Links
Tech

C++

Screenshot of the Zoowm desktop

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The process

As in many startup companies, the most challenging goal was to figure out what the product should do and why people would need it. As the designer in the company (with help from Wouter), I spend my time in translating the research-oriented idea of a new user interface for Windows into a set of understandable principles for creating this new experience.

Sketches of task flow

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The next Window Manager

The goal was to have an interface that could easily be learned and understood by most Windows users. We wanted to get rid of the restrictive stacking windows manager metaphor and indeed allow people to use their spacial abilities to navigate through the desktop environment. The initial idea of an infinite canvas where all windows were displayed next to each other came from Joona, but figuring out the exact way of navigating, manipulation and interacting with windows was my job.

Personas for design research

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Result

Due to limitations in time and budget we had to make choices in the interaction techniques that would be implemented. We went through a couple of iterations and decided on a minimalistic visual style and a limited set of interaction possibilities.

Developing a persona further

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