The influence of fictional user interfaces on Future user interfaces

The video found at http://blog.leapmotion.com/fictional-uis-influence-todays-motion-controls/ talks about the influence of Fictional user interfaces that people see in the field of arts or fiction, and how it influences the future user interfaces. The video draws its arguments based  on modern fiction where motion controls,voice based systems, holographic displays etc are understood to depict advanced technologies. The author of the blog claims that the reason for such attraction  to motion control (among other technologies) ,is due to the fact that such an interaction technique provides the user with a sense of “Power and mastery”.  The author also makes a statement about how these fictional media convey more about the user than the future of these technologies themselves. So , when such UIs are used by characters that are supposedly super human, it creates an expectation , because people believe that the natural users interfaces should provide you with this power and make you feel more like a super-human by augmenting your natural capabilities,for example, a wave of your hand can do something extremely complicated in the real world.

The author then draws out to how the expectation fits into “Immersion and flow” , immersion is a sense of being in a higher level of reality and the sense of flow is achieved when the user is pushed to extend his skills to meet with the rising challenge, too little a challenge , and boredom creeps in, too tough the challenges, the user becomes anxious, both of which breaks the flow.

The video does a good job at analyzing various examples that depict different design principles, and states how these differences suggests that a certain principle isn’t the one thing that is always better and how it all depends on context. He talks about how some interfaces cleverly subvert the expectations in order to overcome the difficulty in realizing them, by drawing the user’s attention to some other interesting, fun, playful interaction and have them enjoy the experience.

So, according to the author, the expectations are very much influenced by these fictional UIs, and it does in a sense imply that these interfaces need not be realistic, as long as they are still easy to learn, use and master and make the user feel more powerful. It is interesting how the video suggests how much users expect indeed (Given that these technologies are still only maturing) ,  and also, how it is very much possible for designers to subvert the expectation by providing a new and engaging experience.

 

 

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