Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Retro Addict Administrator
    My location

    Burger Time Champion, Sonic Champion Harrison's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    16,221
    Blog Entries
    1
    Downloads
    6
    Uploads
    14

    UI interface design stagnation

    When I started designing in the 90s there was a massive revolution taking place due to the advancement of technology, computer power, ability and the internet. Creativity was being sparked and some unique, progressive and imaginative design was happening.

    Concepts in design were changing from the 2D printed static page to interactive dynamically generated content. Photoshop and Illustrator were a big instigator in experimental design. SOHO design studios such as Tomato were generating design concepts that shifted graphic design and typography use.

    In the early days of the world wide web the technology to generate content was limited. Much was still static pages of data and images. But as bandwidth increased the ability to utilise server power to dynamically generate content was unlocked.

    But UI interface design, how we interact with content, and our expectations have stagnated. We are no longer challenged by the need to explore a UI when we visit a new website. We all but expect it to function as we have grown accustomed to. Is this a good thing?

    The problem is, as the life of anything develops it converges to a point where everything ends up being the same. You visit a website and expect a welcome landing page that will serve simplified synopsis of the site's content, and you expect a navigation system that takes you to standard sections such as news, about, contact etc.

    As a designer one aim is to challenge the user to explore, to think and consider the source they are interacting with. To deliver something that makes them discover something new, different or unexpected.

    I'm bored of visiting sites that are clones of every other site. Yes, it makes it easy, but where is the expression and individuality of a site, the character of the business or individual behind it?

    Why are we stuck with generic layouts? Design is led by investment. Creativity is always stifled by the paying clients who most of the time like to play it safe.

    The only space where UI design is free to be experimented with is gaming. Even the shift from the PS4 to PS5 changed the OS UI and how you interact with it. I remember the first time I used a PS5 and really didn't like the interface, having used a PS4 for so long. But use it for a day and you quickly appreciate it is far more fluid and less clunky. The way areas are accessed removes the issue of needing to scroll up and down through icon menus to find what you need.

    And games themselves often use unique interfaces, allowing true creativity. Not constrained by an OS's UI requirements, thr freedom is there to experiment.

    One area that is still behind is car UI design. It is catching up faster now most new cars have touchscreen infotainment and many virtual cockpits, but even this is lagging behind in design, logical UI and interaction. But there is the danger that individuality of manufactures will be replaced by a converging standard interface. Much like smartphones a standard cross manufacturer OS could eventually be the standard with the only difference being the physical car, not the in car interaction with it. Much like buying a phone from Samsung or Sony. They are still both running on the same OS, just when different hardware offering different capabilities.

    Is convergence a good thing? Yes in terms of compatibility and ease of use. But no in terms of innovation and design innovation because it removed competition and creates stagnation.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  2. #2
    Burn! Hot Blooded Rhythm Soul! Staff Moderator
    My location

    J T's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    'STRAYA (since 2010)
    Posts
    1,890
    Downloads
    1
    Uploads
    0
    Interesting points. I do feel like a lot of the 'easy wins' have already been had, a lot of the common problems have been solved and computers are now really quite easy to use, especially as kids grow up with them now. I think back to how my dad (who didn't grow up with computers) would often be surprised at how easily I picked up using the Amiga and later our Windows 95 PC; and I can't help think how easily it will come to my kids.

    I used to love digging deep into settings and fiddling with things, exploring, but now as I get a bit older and grumpier, I quite like the convergence in style - it means I don't have to relearn everything each time I get a new device. Frankly I don't have the time or energy to put in that big effort anymore and I really want the 'thing' to just work. I wonder how many in my age band feel similar now. Perhaps it's also because I have to mess around with different systems at work, that I don't really want to do it at home.

  3. #3
    C64 addict Staff Moderator
    My location

    Demon Cleaner's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Phobos
    Posts
    7,477
    Downloads
    7
    Uploads
    88
    Quote Originally Posted by J T View Post
    I used to love digging deep into settings and fiddling with things, exploring, but now as I get a bit older and grumpier, I quite like the convergence in style - it means I don't have to relearn everything each time I get a new device. Frankly I don't have the time or energy to put in that big effort anymore and I really want the 'thing' to just work. I wonder how many in my age band feel similar now. Perhaps it's also because I have to mess around with different systems at work, that I don't really want to do it at home.
    I couldn't explain it any better.

  4. #4
    Burn! Hot Blooded Rhythm Soul! Staff Moderator
    My location

    J T's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    'STRAYA (since 2010)
    Posts
    1,890
    Downloads
    1
    Uploads
    0
    When I got a new phone (a Samsung flip), even after the back-up transfer process I spent a little bit of time making all the screens and settings work like my previous phone (a non-flippy Samsung).

  5. #5
    Retro Addict Administrator
    My location

    Burger Time Champion, Sonic Champion Harrison's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    16,221
    Blog Entries
    1
    Downloads
    6
    Uploads
    14
    Is it one of the fold out dual screen phones? Any good?

    With main systems having a generic UI it does have a big advantage of everyone just knowing how it works. Apple and Windows do still like to tinker with their UI with each new Desktop OS. But iOS and Android have been fairly cemented now with the core of their OS UIs. You can pick up most of their mobile devices from the last few years and know what to expect.

    But for something more than just the core UI I like to see some risks and experiements in interactivity so the end user still needs to explore and discover. I was thinking of UI the most in terms of webdesign when I wrote the original post. The majority of websites are quite generic. Functional, but without much soul or interest.

    Also I still don't like actually web browsers. I've yet to find one where the actually progtam UI is 100% helpful. Something normally annoys me in how they work.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  6. #6
    Burn! Hot Blooded Rhythm Soul! Staff Moderator
    My location

    J T's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    'STRAYA (since 2010)
    Posts
    1,890
    Downloads
    1
    Uploads
    0
    Is it one of the fold out dual screen phones? Any good?
    No its the 'clamshell' style one - when unfolded it's approximately a 'regular' slab, but when folded up it's a nice compact almost-square. There's a little outer display that can show basic info and notifications. Originally I'd hoped that being able to screen/dismiss notifications etc would cut down on the time I spend on the phone - in some but not all cases this has worked.

    I like it, it feels cool to fold it shut and a lot of people say it's cool (yeah a bit vain but it's nice sometimes to stand out). It fits in the pocket nicely and is generally satisfying to use.

    Being able to shoot pics with the hinge slightly folded means I can get nice 'low angle' shots comfortably.

    The battery life isn't great though, and the factory-fitted screen protector film has cracked and lifted in places but the actual screen proper is just fine. The crease is certainly 'feelable' and in some settings quite visible but it also has close to zero impact on usability. In fact, at times I found running my finger along the crease strangely satisfyingly tactile.

    Samsung's UI is quite nice, pretty unobtrusive and decent functionality. Every now and then there's an annoying thing where it'll ask which app to use, and in the instance of something basic like entering a new persons phone number.... of course there is 'contacts' (the google one) and 'contacts' (the samsung one). Minor, but it could confuse some people i guess.


    The majority of websites are quite generic. Functional, but without much soul or interest.
    I feel that way about much of the internet now. Part of that may be because we were there when it was a 'wild west' of unbridled content and innovation. It's very homogenised now, very little risk taking as corporations and individuals are concerned about building (or maintaining / protecting) their 'brand'

    There's a lot of convergence too, see the 'youtube thumbnail face'

  7. #7
    Retro Addict Administrator
    My location

    Burger Time Champion, Sonic Champion Harrison's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    16,221
    Blog Entries
    1
    Downloads
    6
    Uploads
    14
    You hit the nail on the head. Not much risk taking because everything is corporate and about protecting IP.

    But that removes innovation, meaning nothing evolves. Sometimes you need risk takers to move forward.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


Similar Threads

  1. MIDI interface
    By Tiago in forum Hardware
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 8th February 2012, 14:49
  2. Buffered IDE Interface
    By Harrison in forum Classicamiga Wiki
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 3rd December 2008, 18:22
  3. Unzip Interface
    By Noelozzy in forum Software
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 17th June 2008, 23:07
  4. The game you've always wanted to design
    By Sharingan in forum Games
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: 9th July 2007, 10:12

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Copyright classicamiga.com