Wednesday, December 20, 2006

What Will Tomorrow's User Interface Look Like?

The game vs. the interface ...

"In a sense, speaking of a "user interface" commits us in advance to a perspective on data manipulation that ought not pass unscrutinized. Indeed, it is one conditioned by our present-day point-and-click experience of computing -- where the things we wish to interact with are permanently alien to ourselves and can be met only through intermediary layers.

But are these layers so abstract from the information behind them and the users before them?

Last week's post on musical instruments offers pause to reconsider. Is it really right at any meaningful level to say that a harp numbers among "user interfaces for generating music through the vibration of strings"? A harp's interface is one with its function, with the tone it produces: give its strings instead a piano's "interface" and you have ... a piano.

The same is true of these chess pieces. The game is the interface. But that isn't true any longer by the time we come to this:

Here, game and interface are distinctly different creatures. We get to the former by way of the a keyboard or (in other incarnations of the phenomenon) mouse movements, or buttons on game controllers, or cell phones keypads. We're still playing chess -- we think -- but we're also sitting and clicking. An anecdote I once heard had a writer describing her child's understanding of the mother's vocation: "Sure, I know what you do. You type."    (Continued via DemocracyInAction)    [Usability Resources]

Game Is Interface - Usability, User Interface Design

Game Is Interface

Different Game vs. Interface - Usability, User Interface Design

Different Game vs. Interface


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