Thursday, April 9, 2009

Have Novel Touchscreen Interfaces Fulfilled Jef Raskin's Vision?

For a class called "The Psychology of Human-Machine Interaction," I was assigned to read Jef Raskin's book The Humane Interface (cover pictured to the right). At the time (2004, probably), I was really intrigued by Raskin's idea of zoomable interfaces and the notion that discrete applications are an inefficient way to facilitate users' desired actions, but it all seemed sort of far out and futuristic.

However, with innovative touchscreen interfaces such as the Palm Pre's "deck of cards" metaphor or Bumptop's 3D desktop (demo shown below), it seems that Raskin's visionary ideas are finally being realized. I love the idea of enabling users to use their spatial faculties, a cognitive ability that is severely under-utilized in traditional hierarchical 2D desktop interfaces.

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