iPod (example)

The original iPod, now labeled “iPod Classic”, is an example of a simplified SUI interface.

iPod Classic

Using your finger, you can touch the jog wheel and move your finger in a circular motion. This interaction modifies a number of controls on the screen.

  • It scrolls whichever list is visible on the screen. A clockwise motion scrolls down, while a counter-clockwise motion scrolls up.
  • If a horizontal status bar is visible, it can adjust the current position in the status bar to the left or right (clockwise for right, counter-clockwise for left). This is used for adjusting the volume and adjusting the time position of the song.
  • If the star rating is visible, scrolling to the left or right with the jog wheel selects more or less stars.
  • To use the Genius playlist control, scrolling the jog wheel to the right moves a selection arrow control, that initializes the Genius feature.

The jog wheel is typically used as the selection control for the iPod. The device does not have any type of pointing device to make selections, as someone is typically used to using on a desktop computer for example. Using the jog wheel as a selection interface is more apparent when trying to play Solitaire on the small device. Moving your finger to the left or right on the jog wheel moves a “selection hand” on the screen. The hand moves in a linear pattern allowing you to select a card to move in the game. This selection interaction on a desktop computer is strictly given to the mouse or trackpad to provide input.

iPod Classic: touch level

Underneath the jog wheel are 4 buttons that provide more input to the iPod interaction.

  • The top button (MENU) is typically used as a “back button”.
  • The right button is used to advance to the next song, or when held down, used to advance the current song by a few seconds.
  • The left button is used to go to the beginning of the current song, go back one song, or go back in time in the current song.
  • The bottom button is used play or pause the song.

The middle button that is not underneath the jog wheel, and thus not included in the SUI interface, is used to advance through the menus or commit to an action.

iPod Classic: button level

The iPod Classic represents a SUI interface:

  1. Multiple interfaces
    1. Jog Wheel controls menu selection (scrolling through lists), and parameter adjustments (changing volume, place in song, star rating).
    2. 3 of 4 buttons control music playing
    3. MENU button function is related to menu selection and not music playing.
  2. Interfaces occupy the same physical space.
  3. Each interface can be independently controlled without interfering with the other interface.

The iPod’s adherence to the SUI framework is weak for rule #1, though: there is not a strict separation of interface functions.

  • One button in the lower layer is used in conjunction with the jog wheel in the upper layer.
  • The jog wheel can be used to adjust a music playing parameter.

iPod Classic: SUI levels

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