The idea from this link that sparked this post was one that I had not thought about in the sense of graphical user interfaces(GUI). Sure we(those in the US and other 1st world countries) live in a day and age where the touch screen is dominant over a physical user interface. Or at least it will be in the very near future.
Building devices that no longer require physical memory or muscle memory takes a very different kind of thinking. How can you make an object which only requires the touch of screen to be reliant on experience? I think the answer to this question is, that is not how it is done anymore. No longer do you have to spend years training with a pieces of technology to become proficient. The GUI asks what you want and you select it. In an instant the information whether that be text, an image, a video, or sound is projected out from the incredibly thin screen and micro speakers.
In the past, a user interface designer would design for the body. Now a GUI designer designs for the brain. All of the work that goes into operation comes from the user and what they are thinking. The link described turning pages, or clicking a mouse to not require much thought or a muscle memory. What it does take however is an advance thought process of why. Why to click there and why then?
This seems like such a different way of designing to me. If you consider two people from two different walks of life, they may have a lot in common physically, but mentally they would be very different. How each of them uses their hands to use the same object should be relatively similar. But how each one of them navigates a computer could be entirely different. I think this just means that a good GUI needs to accomplish at least 1 of 2 things.
- Be incredibly dynamic and allow for the differences in how the human mind may want to navigate the object. Make it possible for any mind to get anywhere no matter the order of the steps they take to get there.
- Create the interface to be so linear and so directive, that there is only one way you can go. The path is so obvious to anyone no matter their background that it is very “natural” and an organic experience once again.