Business goal:

Bring iPhone-like gestures to Lexmark printer UI


Design goal:

Discover user’s expectations and insight, define limited gesture set for use with the new UI


Minimal research insights available for gestures and printer interfaces. No in-house research. Limited time window


  • I conducted competitive analysis
  • User interviews
  • Gathered familiar gestures 2012/2013
  • Defined initial set of actions based on user input


  • UX design team (brainstorming ideas)
  • UX researchers’ assistance (user interviews)
  • Competitive analysis lab 

When we explored the next generation of Lexmark touch screens for their printers, gesturing was one of the most apparent pieces that needed further exploration. The previous gen was a FlashLite 3 UI. The gesturing ability within the earlier printers was clunky. Gesture swiping worked—if you had the patience to try it repeatedly. My task was to define the future UI gestures. We needed to update our printer UIs to present-day interaction expectations.

    • How would a user interact with our interface?
    • Would they prefer horizontal or vertical swiping?
    • How does the user know when they have reached the end of the screens.
    • How do they know which way to swipe?

Status Supplies

On printers, supply status is an essential function. It is similar to the needs one has for notification or control centers on mobile phones. Quick access can be a vital feature for users. How do you enable the user to access Status Supplies quickly?

Swiping down is standard on phones, but would it work for a printer? A problem with the printer touch screen, unlike most phones, is that the printer has a bezel. That bezel makes swiping from the edges difficult—therefore, we had to build in a buffer.

The buffer creates a problematic experience with other components. As we iterated through this issue, we had to reconsider how the user accesses Status Supplies. We tested, iterated, and then redesigned. The process taught us a lot about the limitations and how we needed to adjust for gesturing with a bezel.

Status supplies

A gesture alone wouldn’t cut it.

Accessing Job Queue and Function Screens

A few example iterations to explore obtaining current and previous jobs.

Conjectured gestures

These examples depict accessing function screens like fax, copy, or USB. How do the screens reveal themselves? Do they slide, fade, or boxcar (push the home screen over and out of the way) in?

Registering Touch

Here are a few more screens that I created to help developers understand how to handle touch registration.

Initial gesture set

post research

MVP gesture set

UX and stakeholder approved


Testing: testing is critical in discovery and fact-finding. Through testing, we discovered that gesturing could make or break an application.

If we strayed too far from the printer-world norms, the users would never discover the right way to interact with the printer UI. On the other hand, never innovating means we risk following untested trends, and potentially providing a terrible user experience.

UX Gestures