Thursday, March 07, 2013

Interfaces of not?

During the last few years we have seen a drastic change in what is usually seen as the interface of interactive artifacts and systems. There are many who examine this change, such as this article about "Why The Human Body Will Be The Next Computer Interface".

I am excited to see speculations about this since I am working with Lars-Erik Janlert on a new article about this topic. The article is to some extent based on our previous article "Complex Interaction" even though it hopefully breaks some new ground when it comes to the big questions of "what is an interface"  and the future oriented question of "what is the future of interfaces".

There are a number of interesting questions that we try to investigate int the article, for instance, what is the most useful definition of interfaces, does the Kinect have an interface, when interfaces are everywhere how can we think about them, etc. These questions are important since if answered they may help and support designers who on an everyday basis make decisions about the manifestations and materializations of interfaces. Questions like "should we try to make the interface smaller", "should we try to remove the interface" or "are gestures a good form of interaction in this case". The consequences of all these decisions are not obvious even though for a particular device they may make be. When we look at the landscape of interfaces that we all live within, every decision regarding one interface will influence the use and usefulness of all the others. There is an 'ecosystem' or landscape effect of all design decisions. Anyway, in our article we deal with all these issues and also relate them to the history of interfaces.

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