Monday, May 28, 2007

The Evolving User Interface From Graphical UI to Environmental UI

Changes in the UI model ...

"For decades, researchers have tried to create user interfaces (UIs) that more-closely reflect human communications. However, few advances have gone beyond the lab to drive a shift in the UI model. The graphical user interface (GUI) — conceived in the 1970s and commercialized in the 1980s — is an exception. The GUI allowed a more-flexible and pleasing display with iconic representations of real-world concepts and flexible graphical output. Adopted first in high-value niches (electronic publishing, for example) and then broadly embraced by consumers, the GUI has been the dominant UI paradigm since the early 1990s.

The GUI will remain the main UI model through 2010. However, several factors are increasing the pressure to extend the interaction model — especially for targeted niche markets:

• Computing has moved off the desktop and into the world via handheld devices and embedded systems in both mobile and fixed locations.
• Computing has continued to expand to broader and more-diverse (in terms of geography, culture, age and so on) populations with different real-world experiences and physical capabilities.
• Computing is being applied to more business activities in increasingly specialized environments with unique requirements.
• Consumers are becoming more comfortable with and more sophisticated in how they use technology, increasing the frequency with which they expect computer interaction.

In "Hype Cycle for Human-Computer Interaction, 2005," a range of emerging user interface technologies is analyzed. These technologies range widely in their levels of development and adoption from the earliest stage of research through mainstream acceptance. New UI technologies face many hurdles on the way to adoption."    (Continued via Gartner Research)    [Usability Resources]

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