Saturday, January 27, 2007

Where is the User Interface Innovation?

It seems like a good user interface toolkit would lead to better interfaces, and I think at one level it does. But recently it has occurred to me that it also tends to reduce innovation. Where I'm seeing the most innovation in user interfaces is on the web with the new generation of Ajax web applications. HTML, CSS, and Javascript provide a pretty basic UI toolkit, certainly not as nice as the Mac or Windows. But it seems to be another example of constraints leading to good things. It seems like, because of its limitations, the web has spawned a rich variety of UI innovations. Of course, the variety means that there's not as much standardization, but so far that hasn't seemed like a big drawback. You have the same problems figuring out how to use an innovative Windows or Mac program.

For a good example, have a look at Dabble DB - the 7 minute video gives a great introduction.

No comments: