DreamSpring specialize in the development of Symbian OS-based applications and have adapted their successful contact management application, DreamConnect 3, for the smaller 2.4 inch touchscreens of Sony Ericsson’s new G700 and G900 UIQ 3-based phones.
The G700 and G900 take touchscreen functionality to mainstream market segments so UIQ 3 applications need to be “compact touch friendly” with simplified UIs. DreamSpring share some of the changes they made in modifying DreamConnect 3‘s UI for compact-touch and finger-tip control.
DreamSpring and DreamConnect 3
“From the very beginning, DreamConnect 3 was designed with usability in mind,” explains Malcolm Lithgow, Managing Director of DreamSpring.
“With unique and powerful features, DreamConnect 3 solves many of the weaknesses in the standard built-in Contacts. It exploits the full capabilities of the UIQ platform.”
DreamSpring’s focus is on the user experience and the demand for a more streamlined interface. The goal for DreamConnect 3 version 3.6 was to allow end-users to find and manipulate information with just their fingers, disposing of any need for a stylus.
Designing for Smaller Screens
This was largely done by the addition of on-screen buttons providing access to key features, and a redesign of the contact list layout and size to accommodate finger navigation without compromising the amount of information displayed.
DreamSpring was able to increase the size of contacts and add on-screen buttons without compromising usability because of their unique fast filter, which allows the end-user to dynamically filter their contacts list down to a very small, easily viewed range.
DreamConnect 3 for larger, 2.6 inch screens
Two screenshots of DreamConnect 3 v3.6 for smaller 2.4 inch screens
Reducing Screen Taps
Between them, the features mentioned above allow DreamConnect 3 to work with less than 50% of the screen taps required by standard Contacts for almost all common operations, while still supporting a much larger feature set.
Touchscreen Gesture Support
DreamConnect 3 v3.6 also provides gesture support. In the contacts list, the application recognizes a horizontal swipe on the touchscreen as a request to move to the next or previous contact detail (phone number, email address, etc.). This approach is far more finger-friendly than the (still available) alternative of tapping the tiny arrows. This provides real user benefits and a better implementation of touchscreen technology, skipping the extra step of going to another screen for the details.
“The flexibility of UIQ 3 and the power of touchscreens allow us to do amazing things,” concludes Malcolm Lithgow.
“It has been Sony Ericsson’s input that has inspired us to take DreamConnect 3 to a higher level. I am looking forward to working with Sony Ericsson more closely to create exceptional applications that encourage more uptake of touchscreen mobile phones.”
DreamConnect 3 version 3.6 will be commercially available during Q2 2008.
- “New UIQ 3-based phones take touchscreen mainstream: G700 and G900” February 2008 news article>>
- Visit DreamSpring’s website>>
- Read more about DreamConnect 3>>