Helsinki-based Fluid Interaction is using mobile screens to fight a war with the world’s leading source of information overload: Twitter. Rather than the endless scroll of tweets, retweets, and replays, they’ve created a wheel-based UI for Twheel, their Twitter client, that’s easy to scroll through while also providing context on how important each individual tweet is.
The Fluid Interaction team has some background in cognitive science, and they base their UI design on the fact that humans can spot differences in round shapes very quickly. On their wheel they provide a relevance bar for each tweet. CEO Kalle Määttä explains, “When you’re looking for content, it’s not the content but how others have reacted and what’s your relationship to your source.
Twheel has now launched on iOS can now be found in the app store.
If this all sounds familiar, we’ve covered Fluid Interaction’s previous app, Different Tack, which was available only on Nokia’s platforms. The company rebranded the app’s name, as they found that it was difficult for some people to say and remember, and CEO Kalle Määttä feels that Tweel is a strong brand name for the approach they’re doing.
They’ve also cleaned up the UI, and on the tecnical side, the app has now been put together in Open GL, making it multi platform. An Android version will hit the Google Play store soon, however they’re still working on the release to optimize the feel on different devices.
They’re reluctant to give a timeline for future updates, but they’re taking more steps to pick out better signals in Twitter’s noise. Currently the app only provides information of tweet-quality based on retweets, which means that Tweel doesn’t highlight the tweets you enjoy from your friend with only 15 followers.
But because you select one tweet at a time, in Tweel is able to see how much time you spend with each tweet. Määttä explains that since the app can see that you spend more time with some sources rather than other ones, it can begin to raise the importance bar on the tweet.
The wheel allows you to scroll through tweets quickly, as your thumb keeps constant contact with the screen and your eyes read tweets from the same location every time. The actual mechanics of retweeting, replying, and so on can be a little difficult to navigate in a wheel-based form at first, but it gets easier as you know what to expect.
There are a million different Twitter clients out there, but this one is well worth having on your phone just to change it up a little. It will be interesting to see what Fluid Interaction can do as they continue to develop the product.