Chapter 7. Invitations

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Patterns: Dialog, Tip, Tour, Demo, Transparency, 1st Time Through, Persistent, Discoverable

Do you remember the first time you used Photoshop? I remember opening the application and seeing a blank canvas and a vast array of powerful tools.

Photoshop 5.5

Figure 7-1. Photoshop 5.5

Well, I assumed the tools were powerful, but didn’t know for sure. In fact, I didn’t know how to get started at all. But I had quite a bit of money invested in the software and needed to learn it for work. So I bought Sam’s Teach Yourself Photoshop 5 in 24 Hours, by Carla Rose and started learning.

Fast forward a decade or so. There are hundreds of thousands of mobile applications readily available in the marketplace. In any one category there are dozens of apps for the same purpose. Many of them are free, making it just as practical to download and try another app as it is to struggle for 5 minutes with an unintuitive interface.

Consider the initial experience with Layar Reality Browser, an augmented reality app.

Layar Reality Browser

Figure 7-2. Layar Reality Browser

What would help me get from this gray screen to augmented reality? An invitation. Invitations are helpful tips that are displayed the first time a user opens an application ...

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