After attempting to use Shapr3D multiple times, and putting it down in frustration on many occasions, I think I’ve realized that the camera gestures could use some improvement. In particular, I think that the camera gestures could be improved in the following ways to make them more intuitive and useful:
Swapping one-finger and two-finger drags so that one-finger drag pans the camera, and two-finger drags rotate the camera in 3D. I suggest this improvement for three reasons:
- A single-finger drag to pan the camera better matches the gestures found in other apps (such as maps apps), better matching first time expectations.
- A one-finger drag on the screen is much more common to occur accidentally/unconsciously. In this case, rotating the camera in 3D is a much more disorienting experience that simply panning the camera. By making the single-finger drag perform a camera pan, it will make these accidental or unconscious gestures much more less disorienting (and thus easier to recover from).
- A two finger rotate on screen already performs a rotation of the camera in 2 dimensions. When rotating the camera, it’s quite common to need/want to perform both a 3-dimensional and a 2-dimensional rotation together in order to position the camera as desired. Therefore, by using two fingers to perform both of these operations, the experience would become much more fluid (without the need to lift fingers up and down to switch between the two rotation modes)
Increasing the sensitivity of pinch-to-zoom. Currently when performing pinch-to-zoom, a user’s fingers move further on the screen of the iPad than the content zooms in or out. This creates a bit of a jarring experience where it feels like the app isn’t properly responding to the input. By increasing the sensitivity of the pinch-to-zoom gesture, content would shift on screen in concert with finger movements, making the gesture feel much more responsive.
I hope that these thoughts are helpful and that they spark fruitful discussion. I think that Shaper3D has tremendous potential, but until the fundamental interactions are completely ironed out I think that the app is going to have significant limitations, particularly for beginners.