“I was at the Steve Jobs keynote. And like everyone else in that room, I was thrilled by the iPhone demo. The UI is spectacular, but for reasons you can’t see in a photograph, or get from the online keynote video. The best part of the iPhone is simply this: the UI is alive. By implementing one of the key principles of animation, the designers have shown us the stunning power of using Dog Ears as a user experience model,” Kathy Sierra writes for Creating Passionate Users.

Sierra writes, “In the real world, we have physics. We have inertia. Things bounce and stretch and squash. We have follow through. Imagine a dog with long floppy ears sprinting for a frisbee. Now picture the dog coming to a screeching halt in front of the disc. What happens to the ears? They keep going. Then they “bounce” back. And it’s a big part of what separates a good animator from an amateur.”

“Even if you don’t notice it consciously, an animation (even of just words) feels more appealing and alive when things move in the virtual world more like things do in the real world (or even more exaggerated). It feels more lyrical, fluid… less abrupt. And that is what the iPhone UI does,” Sierra writes.

Sierra writes, “Yes the touch-screen is cool. And the multi-touch gestures are so very minority-reportish. But it wasn’t the scrolling that made my jaw drop… it was what happened when the scrolling stopped: it bounced! The thing actually bounced if you flicked it hard and fast enough to send it flying up to the very (or bottom) of the list before it had a chance to slow down and stop. It actually bounced. And until you’ve seen it slow down and bounce, you haven’t felt that visceral, life-like, fluidity.”

Sierra writes, “Someone was quoted as saying, ‘You had me at scrolling.’ Well, for me it was, ‘You had me at what happened when the scrolling stopped.'”

Full article here.
Explaining something like this to the average Joe is like explaining the difference between Mac and Windows. They’ll typically sneer and/or discount it as unimportant, but it makes all the difference in the world. Apple’s attention to detail is a very important contributor to the success of their products and Kathy Sierra does an exemplary job of describing it in her full article.

CBS News takes a closer look at Apple’s iPhone:

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