Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Why of the New UI (Part 1)

The history of GUI through Office 2007 ...

"This is the first in a series of entries in which I outline some of the reasons we decided to pursue a new user interface for Office 2007.

Any discussion about the graphical user interface of computers today has to start all the way back at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in the 1970s. An amazing and ultimately historic collection of brainpower came together to work on the Alto and later Star systems. A remarkable collection of technologies and concepts that are now commonplace were first incubated at PARC: WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get), the use of the mouse, the desktop metaphor (including folders and icons), overlapping windows, Ethernet, laser printing, and a number of the controls that now encompass the modern user interface: menus, scroll bars, edit controls, check boxes. This picture gives you some idea of what the Star interface looked like. (Some idiosyncrasies of the Star, such as the fact that you had to click on inactive windows in order to cause them to paint, are largely forgotten today.)"   continued ...   (Via Jensen Harris)

Xerox Star - User Interface Design, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Ergonomics

Xerox Star

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