Emerging Interface Patterns

Emerging Interface Patterns

Last month I gave a talk here at our Customer Experience University about what I call “Emerging Interface Patterns”. Very often we get buried in day-to-day work and miss out on new experiences, new things that are going on in interaction design just pass us by. This is tragic for those who don’t take the time to stop smell the pixels 😉 Everyone should be paying attention because these new experiences are great creative stimulus for innovative ideas.

In the below presentation I try to run the gamut of what’s new in User Experience, and Interaction Design – scouting ahead for what’s changing the landscape. As someone who is passionate about these topics, I love discovering new interaction patterns, and better ways to do something that was thought adequate before. And by consuming all these new patterns, you can blend them into current projects, and even synthesize something new.

What’s going on in Game Design? What are some of the newest UI trends? How is information design contributing to the interaction design practice? How are we bringing the real world into applications? These are just some of the questions I explore below:

Emerging Interface Patterns
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At the end of the presentation I featured the recently revealed Adaptive Path Aurora concept “browser”. I was actually mostly done with this presentation when Aurora was revealed, and thought it was the perfect closing to my presentation. Why? Because it is the product of many of these emerging patterns we see in other areas of product and interaction design. You could say the design is somewhat reminiscent of the Sugar UI in the OLPC computer, or that having things fade away into the distance is bringing the real world into the experience. The way you can quickly type in a search, or the contextual menu that pops-up to reveal more actions. These are all things we’ve seen before, just not together in this new and innovative idea.

While you could of lived in a cave for the past couple of years and had the same ideas, I theorize that by observing these trends you are “building on the shoulders of giants” and can better combine, iterate, test, and innovate.

I did want to mention a combination I’ve had in my head for awhile :-) on page 30 I have a shot of the Prius fuel consumption screen. I think by using game design and comparing this to other drivers (not just Prius, but all cars) people would instinctively want to “win” by having the best gas mileage. If we could get a mandate for all car companies to include a version of this, with a way to transmit “scores” to a central database, I think we could be off foreign oil in no time! The elevator pitch would be “It’s like Nike+ for fuel consumption” 😉

Gas Game

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Last, things change fast. Since presenting this we’ve seen new patterns in Google’s Chrome browser, and Mozilla’s Ubiquity. Remember to keep up, stay informed, and absorb as much as you can.

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