MIX08: Touch Me -Where Are Interfaces Going?

by Luke Wroblewski March 6, 2008

The Touch Me -Where Are Interfaces Going? panel at Microsoft’s MIX08 discussed opportunities and limitations of gesture-based interfaces and more.

  • Gestural interfaces have enormous potential for data manipulation.
  • Broad strokes of reality: gestures have to feel real and natural enough to be believable. Need physics engines to mimic this reality.
  • Content is the interface: Very high bar for buttons or interaction widgets within gestural interfaces. However, if you want to only stay with content as interface, people will need to remember sets of touch commands.
  • Gesture is more about pattern recognition. It needs to be tactile (natural)– but also productive. For example, Microsoft’s Surface works with devices not just natural motions.
  • Degrees of human sensing provide new ways of interaction: speech, Touch, and Gesture. Sensors allow you to not be explicitly involved in interactions.
  • Voice systems with simple commands tend to loose human element and quickly become un-engaging through rote repetition.
  • Microsoft’s Surface is designed for novice users. As a result, it shows people how an action can be trigged while accepting many variations of a gesture to accomplish the same task.
  • The design of the Minority Report UI was intended to be an interface design 60 years in future. Touch and wallpaper displays were assumed constraints.
  • Good products work, great products inspire.