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I'm Thibaut Sailly, an independant interface designer based in Paris. Say hello on twitter or by email at bonjour ✉ tsailly ◦ net.



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Multweetasking on iPad

By accident, a nice feature of the iPad Twitter app popped up on my screen: it has multitouch gestures for actions on your timeline:

— a two fingers drag down on a tweet from a conversation will unveil the said conversation below (just one tweet in this example):

Screen shot of Twitter for iPad with conversation overlay in the timeline

— a spread on a tweet will display informations and actions relative to the tweet's author:

Screen shot of Twitter for iPad with author's profile overlay above the timeline

Unlike the right panel which isn't a modal view – as noted by Gruber in the Talk Show Ep. #8 (52:55) – these displays are modal. Combining both is a clever way to allow access to more interactions for the user: you can access information on the author of a tweet and choose to follow her for example, while having a video she linked to loading in the web view.

Screen shot of Twitter for iPad with author's profile overlay above the timeline and webview with video loading

You can even load the video in the webview, compose a reply to her, and check informations about her while the compose tweet panel is up. If the web view was modal, as it is today on the iPhone version, you'd have to leave the webview and access the author's profile, and then eventually reload the webpage to load the video again.

As some other new interactions on touch devices, these gestures aren't obvious when you don't know them, but feel natural once you do. Kind of like keyboard shortcuts. These two moves are in fact "gesture shortcuts" as you can access the content they call by taping the tweet for the first example above, and by tapping the icon of the author on the right panel in the second one.

So, two interesting things here : one, gesture shortcuts, and two, "multweetasking". Also, it's the first time I've encountered multitouch actions on text content, and I'm curious to see if it's going to stick to the wall and be used in other text based touch apps.

Now the quest for the gesture combo allowing to bloody deselect a tweet from the time line is on. It MUST be somewhere.

Update: to unselect a tweet, tap the timeline icon in the left column. Thanks to @tullio and @derPlau for the information.

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