| Home | Search | EPSS Forum | What's New | Experts |

About EPSS & Technology  Interface Design Trends: articles about emerging trends in computer interface design that may affect the design and development to electronic performance support systems.

Fiscal therapy online is right at your fingertips 

In this US News article Phillip J. Longman reports that in the near future "...automated (financial) advisers will go beyond recommending specific investments. They will custom tailor your portfolios by buying and bundling fractional shares of stocks, bonds, and derivatives calibrated to your goals and tolerance for risk." (2000-08-13)

Users: How stupid are they, really?

In this Linux World article, JS Kelly asks the question "Should we treat "average users" like the morons they are, or coddle them so they don't hurt themselves? Surely there is a third alternative..." (2000-08-13)

Let's Make Unix Not Suck

In this article, Miguel de Icaza urges open-source developers to remember that "The majority of people do not use computers to do programming, nor to learn how to use nroff, nor to run a web server. The majority of people use computers to simplify their lives, to communicate with people, to get work done, or to have fun." (2000-08-13)

Trends: The Evolution of the Interface

In this Macword article about the new Mac Operating system, Bruce Tognazzini laments "...the operating system's flashy new Aqua interface, along with the increasing number of tools that let you change the very underpinnings of the OS, may threaten the Mac's hallmark simplicity." (2000-08-06)

Toward the Anti-Mac

This paper reflects on the 1995 paper by Don Gentner and Jakob Nielsen entitled The Anti-Mac Interface. It discusses some of the recent innovations in the design of a user interface for Linux and how these tend to follow some of the ideas put forward in the Gentner and Nielsen paper.  (2000-07-30)

Microsoft Sees Software Agent as Way to Avoid Distractions

This New York Times article by John Markoff describes a Microsoft research project that is developing software to monitor and manage a person's email, telephone calls and instant messages. Based on the user's previous behavior, the software would prioritize the messages. The software would also be connected to a camera the could determine if the person was in their workspace and could be interrupted.  (2000-07-23)

Giants Bet on Voice Recognition for E-Commerce 

According to this E-Commerce Times article "Analysts believe that the widespread adoption of speech recognition technology will help e-commerce reach its true potential. Freeing shoppers from their keyboards, e-commerce over cellular phones and other mobile devices could lead to an explosion of online purchases, especially among those who shy away from computers." (2000-07-09)


According to this article by David Gelernter on the future of computing "The power of desktop machines is a magnet that will reverse today's "everything onto the Web!" trend. Desktop power will inevitably drag information out of remote servers onto desktops." (2000-07-01)

Not Ready for Prime Time

In this ClickZ article, Greg Sherwin and Emily Avila "illustrate just how far the wireless micro-Internet is from being truly useful and viable. Gadget freaks will no doubt regard us as Luddites in web clothing. But for many of us who prefer not to crash and burn with the latest beta web browser releases, today's wireless Internet is rife with incompatible technologies, incomplete services, and many soon-to-be-obsolete products." (2000-05-15)

Business Systems for Problem-solvers

Richard Pawson has a radical new idea about business information systems: They should be designed to support problem-solving instead of the rote following of procedure. According to the CSC research fellow, even systems used to take customer orders and schedule resources should feel as 'expressive' as spreadsheets or drawing packages. Hence his term, expressive systems. (2000-04-25)

A Chip in Every Pot

Manufacturing companies are hiring design firms and consultants to research whether people would use something like a networked washing machine or a refrigerator that knows when they're out of milk. (2000-04-16)

Affective Computing

Soon, we'll have computers that can read and quantify our moods and "body language" and react appropriately. And once that programmatic step is taken, it's only a short additional step to flip the input into output, and we'll have computers that can accurately mimic human emotions. (2000-04-09)

Wearable Training

His tool belt isn't the kind that's weighted down with screwdrivers, hammers and wrenches, however. Instead, it holds a tiny computer, a holster with a six-by-four inch monitor, a battery pack and an audio transmitter. The clerk can connect to the server, call up information about the machine, and find instructions about how to diagnose and fix the malady.  (2000-04-02)

Cool XUL Provides Cross-Platform UI

So what does XUL do? Essentially it provides a language to describe a user interface, with many more widgets than are provided in HTML itself. Such widgets include tree controls, scrollbars, and splitters. A user interface description ("package") contains various elements that control the interface appearance and behavior: (2000-03-10)

Researchers: High-tech to transform shoes, pens

Academic research and the growth of the Internet is prompting a movement toward embedding computing and communications devices in nearly everything, according to speakers at Intel's Computing Continuum conference. Among the examples: pens containing built-in scanners, shoes that emit notes depending on how the wearer moves and personal global positioning systems. (2000-03-19)

A GUI for the Gurus

Regardless of where you think computer interfaces are going in the future (voice activation, artificially intelligent avatars, interactive 3d projections), the fundamental principles behind those interfaces will have to inherit a lot from current designs. Unless humanity undergoes a sudden and overwhelming psychological and neurological shift, the things that make sense now will continue to do so. (via webword) (2000-03-12)

Ask Jeeves finds his voice

"We feel we've taken the next step in humanizing the Internet by advancing the progress of voice-over-IP and allowing our clients to conduct voice conversations over the Internet," said Steve Roop, director of product management at Ask Jeeves. (2000-03-12)

Make Way for M-Commerce

If the buzz at this year's CeBIT is to be believed, then wireless technology will usher in the next wave of electronic commerce -- the so-called m-commerce. (2000-03-05)

Lab Rat: Microsoft Research's vision for vision

According to article about computer vision systems "when put in the right place, or combined with complementary technologies, computers that see will change how we use consumer electronics and computing devices at home and work. For instance, your TV could pause the show you are watching without the need for a remote control. Just by seeing you get up to go get a beer, your TV would know you're leaving the room and no longer paying attention." (2000-03-05)

Diebold Introduces Fully Personalized Self-Service Technology At CeBIT 2000

Named 'Watson,' the ATM-like terminal automatically adjusts to a user's physical traits and consumer tastes - using biometric technology and the Internet - to create a personalized experience. (2000-03-05)

Wearable Computing Resources

A page with many links to articles, news and other information about wearable computers. (2000-03-05)

Written words may jump off the page in the future

Imagine stroking an illustration to hear sound effects. Or watching words flash in front of your eyes instead of following the words across a page with your eyes. Or touching a new type of punctuation mark, a triangle perhaps, that makes footnotes or more information about a topic pop up on your screen. (2000-03-05)

Wearable Software, Accessibility and Voice Browsing

Wearable computers are a unique kind of information appliance, because of the many constraints put on them by their small size. For wearable computers to succeed, software applications need to fit alternative input and output models. This paper discusses the relationship between wearable software, accessible software, and voice browsing, and identifies ways to facilitate the production of wearable software applications. (2000-02-27)

There's a PC in My Salt Shaker

At the Invisible Computer conference at the Fashion Institute of Technology on Friday, speakers were talking about pushing the envelope further than the concept of just moving the computer from the office into the living room. They were touting bottles you open to get the weather report, watches that record every physical move you make, and fountains that recite monologues. (2000-02-27)

What The Linux Community Needs To Grok

"Several Linux fans wrote to me stating that the "application problem" is actually a "user problem". Users are incorrectly resistant to change, the argument goes, when they should be accepting something that is new and better. This is backward thinking. People create computers to do the things that people want to do. It is not the job of the masses to adapt to your computer system." (via webword.com) (2000-02-27)

Prettying Up Linux

Efforts to put a pretty face on Linux are increasing but it may be some time before the makeover is complete. Although Linux already has a pair of evolving GUIs -- KDE and Gnome -- neither is anywhere near as easy to set up and use as the Mac OS or Windows. Indeed, users must occasionally resort to typing commands into a command-line interface. (2000-02-27)

Linux in every lap

"Right now, to do system management [for Linux] requires a pretty intimate knowledge of how the software is constructed," says Hertzfeld.  "You need to know about various system components -- a user of a word processor needs to know what graphics library or string library they have. Someone who just wants to upgrade their word processor needs to understand a lot of technical detail." (2000-02-27)

FreePad - a portable internet access devise

According to the product description " FreePad is the first terminal that truly combines the electronic communication needs of today's households: Internet access and telephony. The uniform user interface and the INSTANT ON feature makes FreePad as simple to use as an ordinary telephone, but far more convenient." (2000-02-20)

Demo 2000

Demo 2000 is a conference that highlights innovations in software and hardware design. The site contains brief descriptions of the products demonstrated at the Feb 6-9, 2000 conference.  (2000-02-20)

Wearable Computing Infobase

A database of links to information and site on wearable computers. The database contains links to wearable computer related hardware, software, books and articles.  (2000-02-20)

Apple, AOL veterans making Linux easy

A start-up called Eazel is at work on a graphical user interface (GUI) for Linux that founders say will extend to every aspect of the Linux computing experience. (2000-02-20)

Search the Web Without Searching

Kenjin, a free downloadable program, is a "behind-the-scenes" search engine. It reads and analyzes the text on your screen, picks out the major themes, and then combs the Internet for links related to those subjects. Kenjin works with almost any sort of document, whether you're working in a word processor or writing an e-mail message. (2000-02-13)


myWebOS.com, has developed a web-based next generation operating system that has taken the concept of "network computing" to the next level. myWebOS.com's primary product is myWebOS, the first operating platform that makes the World Wide Web the application and data network for personal users, small to mid-size businesses, and the enterprise. myWebOS is the platform upon which applications can be built by developers to suit the needs of millions of users. (2000-02-13)

The User Interface Domain

"The User Interface Domain seeks to improve all user/computer communications on the Web. In particular, the Domain is working on formats and languages that will present information to users with more accuracy and a higher level of control."  (2000-02-06)

Portable devices get wearable

Soon your wristwatch will not only tell time, but also contain your contact and schedule information. At Comdex, Casio demonstrated PC Unite, a $99 watch that uses a wireless infrared connection to link to a Cassiopeia Windows CE device or to Microsoft Outlook on a desktop PC. (2000-01-16)

Turn on, jack in and geek out with wearable PC

This CNN article describes the Xybernaut Wearable Computers which "...includes a small flat-panel display, head-mounted display, vest, video camera mounted to the side of the headset, external floppy drive and a full port explicator" (2000-01-16)

AT&T Online Text to Speech Demo

Check out this next generation text to speech demonstration where you can type text and then listen to the telephone quality speech output. (2000-01-10)

Overcoming information overload

According to this InfoWorld article "Technology vendors have developed products intended to make information access easier. At IBM, for example, researchers have yielded a technology known as Web intermediaries, which can provide a customized view of Web information to make it easier to focus on specific information." (2000-01-16)

Kids' Predictions for the Future

From CIO Online: "Sometimes the best way to learn about the future is by hearing from those with the most vivid imaginations: children. To get some perspective for our issue on the future, we visited two elementary schools (Driscoll School and Heath School, both in Brookline, Mass.) to see what fifth graders there had to say about the next thirty years. Their predictions follow, along with their depictions of the future of education." (2000-01-10)

Trends in Interface Design - Articles from 1999 and earlier

Ask questions or post comments in the EPSS Forum
Sign-up for a free weekly Newsletter
Search the EPSS InfoSite 
Visit the Sponsor Page
Return to the Home page 

Please send your comments to editor@epssinfosite.com

Copyright 1997-2000 - Bill Miller