Rather than have computer maker dictate how vsiual space on my computer should be organized, I should have flexibility to design my computer’s visual space the way I want. The way I organize physical space around me which I can control. The way I organize things at my home.
Designing user friendly and intuitive interfaces is very difficult. Some of the the difficulty comes from finding and using correct metaphors and some difficulty comes from designing something that works for all .
Take two common metaphors files and folders – metaphors computers borrowed from the physical office organization. Probably at that time, no one thought that computers will be ever used at home.
Neither of these metaphors are very intuitive to me as I hardly ever used files and folders outside of computers. A file/item can belong in multiple categories or multiple folders. A file/item may not fit neatly into any one folder. One solution is tagging files with multiple tags. (Creating links is another geeky solution).
I should have the flexibility to use the metaphors that make sense to me in my culture and with my background and my profession.
- Heaps of items with ability to search and sort through them. A heap of music albums, a heap of comics , a heap of jokes, a heap of news clippings , a heap of my writings…neatly stacked on the corner of computer screen. May be not neatly. Stacked in shelves…
- A safe box with lock on my computer. Whatever I put in gets encrypted.
- A box or envelop in which I can just throw in things.
We need to look at nature on how it designs things…and look around us on what really works best for us…
UI will go through a major change in near future. Mouse will disappear, keyboard will become less prevalent. that should help. another video from TED…
( First saw this video on Dr. Ramesh Jain’s blog)
Examples of one design to fit all are windows desktop, and portal (front) pages of Yahoo, MSN and AOL. One design and one content for all.
I should be able to choose what I want to see there and organize it the way I prefer.
I want my desktop and my front page.