Why UX is the future of the mobile operating system – with Chameleon creator Gabor Vida

User interface and user experience are market makers in the mobile industry. This can be in the seamless way Apple has made the app, music, magazine and movie purchasing process. This can be in the elegance of the swipe or the way the background shades or the icons pop. Good UI and UX is something you feel, something akin to an emotion.

When UI and UX is good it makes us want to use it and, for the most part, the operating systems we use today are more functional than pretty – that is until Chameleon arrives.

Created by Teknision, the team that brought us the BlackBerry PlayBook user interface and experience, Chameleon is a KickStarter-funded project that brings the power of great UI/UX to an area that is sorely needed – Android tablets.

Teknision CEO Gabor Vida explains the reasons behind getting into this space, the importance of great UI to create desire, his methodology for building Chameleon and even some insight into why he chose Kickstarter – for funding as well as market validation.

If this is something you want, why not support Gabor by contributing to his Kickstarter campaign here.

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Teknision: RIM’s secret sauce behind the BlackBerry PlayBook user experience – with co-founder Gabor Vida


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About Gabor Vida
Gabor Vida Gabor is an industry veteran with proven communication and strategic management skills. Gabor was a co-founder of one of Canada’s largest internet development companies where his direction grew the multimedia design and development service offering. After his company was acquired by a major telecommunications corporation, he continued to provide strategic interface and information design for the organization’s flagship product offering. As the CEO at Ottawa based Teknision, Gabor spearheads the company direction managing relationships with key clients such as Intel, Adobe, Radian6 and QNX. Focusing on interaction experience design for embedded devices, Gabor provides the thought leadership required to elevate usable experiences into engaging ones.

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About the author

Rob Woodbridge

I'm Rob, the founder of UNTETHER.tv and I've spent 14 years immersed in the mobile and pervasive computing world. During this great time I've helped some of the most innovative companies grow their business through mobile. If you are in need of a mobile business advisor or coach, connect with me here to get things rolling.

  • Juhani

    Holy crap this interviewer doesn’t know a first thing about Android..

  • Brandon Sutherland

    Great Questions & Answers from you both! This was incredibly informative and kept my attention the whole time. You both are very insightful in these products and how they affect us as consumers. I’m glad to know the work behind software like this has leaders that really know what they are doing. Rob, I love the fact that even though you are such an Apple fan, you can admit to your curiosity about Android when presented with this no doubt amazing product. I myself have already pledged for Chameleon. This is what I have been waiting for Google to do for a long time, and thank God that somebody is finally bringing such a gorgeous UI to life.

  • gunzy83

    On the topic of Google putting restrictions on Android, I think that rather than put restrictions they should have certification.  Certified for Google Android devices would have to play by the rules but we definitely don’t want to stop companies coming out with crazy devices and concepts.

  • Tim Box

    I watched it to hear about Chameleon but went away felling Rob is just one massive ifan boy and took every opportunity to voice his opinions.

    Totally ruined the interview.

  • Ha! Thanks for the comment. I’ve been an iPhone user for 3 years, previous to that I used a BlackBerry for 3 years, before that a Palm device and even before that a PocketPC device. Each one of them changed my life. Hopefully Android does the same one day but I do know that it will be innovators like Gabor and software like Chameleon that does it.

    Next time, just mute me and listen to Gabor 🙂

  • Thanks @google-6c19fd1f1436d024653c2308b2f9a7b2:disqus . I’m a UI/UX fan more than an Apple fan. Always looking for a better experience…I may be one of 20 people on the planet that bought a copy of OS/2 for that exact reason. The layer that Gabor is building changes the game and makes the utility of these devices more deeply integrated into our daily experiences. 

  • I agree – restrictions aren’t good so perhaps certifications based on the primary use of the device. For example a phone or tablet for consumers would need this minimum chasis, for medical tablets it would need another one. That way if there is an innovative or experimental use of Android (much like the things happening with QNX) there could be open innovation without having limitations until it came to market. You don’t want high restrictions as to stifle projects such as these but you do want something like Chameleon to run on most – if not all – the devices out there without putting all the burden to get it to work on the developers.

    Thanks for the comment @gunzy83:disqus  

  • @Juhanil:disqus – hardest type of comment to respond to. Not because of the criticism (often warranted 🙂 ) but because there is no context to this comment. Let’s start a conversation / clarify what the issue is and bring the right answers out.

  • Android IS the most inelegant operating system at the moment.  iOS and metro windows both have that “planned out” feel, whereas android is incredibly messy with everything left for developers. Widgets and live wallpapers are very gimmicky and whilst there are some that definitely have merit of being on the home page, the widgets just don’t fit together and most look more suited on a 4 inch screen than a 10 inch screen.

    Android is a very good phone OS, but the tablet side is very poorly planned out. Not to mention the difficulty of finding an app that is suited for the tablet screen real estate. Compared to the ipad and upcoming windows tablets, the android tablet is more like a toy for gamers and developers to tinker with. The quad core bullshit is pointless if the operating system doesn’t perform. I own a transformer prime and it is buggy as hell! There’s always random reboots and random ANRs which I never see on my  lumia 800, my friend’s second generation ipad and even my second generation ipod touch (Crashing also occurs frequently on my HTC Desire HD which surprise surprise is also android).
    I love android don’t get me wrong. It has that the potential of being a great OS. But it just doesn’t feel like it’s a complete or wholesome experience like the aforementioned rivals. 

    The Chameleon project is a breath of fresh air. It completely revolutionises the way android tablets look and feel. The relevent information is displayed quick and simple with widgets that actually show something meaningful and the app draw retains the android icons which make finding specific apps easy. 

    I don’t see why everyone gets so offended when apple is discussed. They aren’t trying to shove an iPad down your throat. They are just saying apple is better at maintaining a quality user experience than android which is why it is so popular. Labelling everyone that uses an iphone or ipad as a fanboy is extremely childish. 

  • Rob, I have never seen your show before to know how this interview compares to others you have had.  I do not have the patience to sample another, because this was one of the most frustrating and disappointing hours that I have spent watching video on the net.  I challenge you to watch this interview and look at it from the perspective of someone who is not you.  I watched not to hear your endless mobile commentary, but to learn more about the Chameleon product.  I did learn a little bit more about Kickstarter.  Other than that, there was NOTHING in here about Chameleon.  The role of someone doing an interview is to present questions to the person being interviewed to learn more about the person being interviewed and what they have to offer.  You put WAY too much of yourself into this.  There is no reason even to have a person on the other side of the screen, if you do not ask engaging questions about the topic at hand.  Gabor was in the backseat of this ride only there to nod his head to your commentary.   I think the Chameleon project is very interesting and may have an effect on UI design, but that is from reading other sites.  I got nothing from this interview.

  • Hey @facebook-1022604207:disqus  – sorry you feel that way but I certainly do appreciate you taking the time to comment here. Seriously. 

    My goal with this episode – and every episode that I do here – is to bring a different perspective from what you can find everywhere else. These episodes are about the business of mobile – how these guys are planning on making money, how they are building their company, how they plan on making it through a year or two or three. This leads to conversations that go beyond the original topic to understand enough about who they are, what they are doing, their context for success and what results they are hoping for. The common thread here is that this is, and always has been, a conversation between two equals – not an interview show.I would suggest you hit up Gabor to ask him questions about Chameleon – he is a stellar guy and very passionate about what he’s doing.

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