January 23, 2007, 9:04 pm
The Future of Gesture UIs
By Lisa Agustin
Without fail, the start of the new year gets people thinking about What Will Be Big This Year. The latest issue of Digital Web Magazine features an interview with Doug Bowman, a Visual Design Lead with Google, in which DWM asked which apps from 2006 are most significant and what that means for 2007. Aside from the expected endorsements of Google’s Calendar and Spreadsheets, Bowman had some interesting comments touching upon the themes of selective content sharing (e.g., Six Apart’s Vox) and more consolidation (e.g., Yahoo! Mail).
But what piqued my interest the most were Bowman’s comments regarding “gesture user interfaces,” or UIs that are driven by physical movements of the user. This is not a new thing, of course–dragging and dropping is something that most users accept (maybe even expect) with the latest applications. But recent offerings like the Nintendo Wii and the Reactrix interactive advertising display are giving us glimpses into what user experience may hold for the future. (Okay, so maybe the holographic screen in that Tom Cruise movie wasn’t completely off the mark?) What I find most interesting about gesture UIs is not so much what the final user experience will be for gesture-driven apps, but how would you architect and then document the desired experience? What kinds of description languages will need to be developed to describe the experience programmatically? What kinds of new user input paradigms will emerge moving forward? Stay tuned.
If they haven’t already, I wonder if gesture-experience designers will turn to an existing notation system (below), or if they’ll need something new.
> Dance Notation Bureau
> Resources from Ohio State University specifically on gesture notation. I believe they also have a free notation software tool.
Posted by Mac McBurney on January 23, 2007 at 9:44 pm