Joshua Kauffman interviewed Loren Brichter, the creator of Tweetie 2, back in November, but I just came across the article after reading Keith’s post on meeting and exceeding user expectations.
Keith mentions Tweetie 2’s reload interaction as one of those brilliant new inventions of UI design that gives the user the UI they need exactly when they need it, actually exceeding their expectations in a delightful way.
The Tweetie 2 reload design caused quite a stir among my designer friends when it first came out. If you’ve never seen the feature we’re talking about, I’ll try to describe it briefly. Tweets are displayed newest at the top. The app auto-remembers where you last left off reading your tweets, so you scroll up, reading old to new. When you get to the top, you naturally pull the list down to reveal a refresh animation. Almost before you’ve realized it happened, you’ve just activated the refresh interaction, and if there are any new tweets, they just load. It’s like magic.
It’s a new interaction that’s never been done before, but is so intuitive and delightful to use, you find yourself trying it on other apps that provide realtime updates and wondering why it’s not there.
In this article, Joshua and Loren discuss how this UI came to be. It’s very interesting, and left me inspired to find a way to work in some “a-ha!” moments in some interfaces I’m designing. Interesting ideas here, too, about gestural interfaces and designing advanced interactions.