Date of Original Version

1999

Type

Article

Rights Management

http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/344949.344959

Abstract or Table of Contents

A user interface software tool helps developers design and implement the user interface. Research on past tools has had enormous impact on today’s developers—virtually all applications today were built using some form of user interface tool. In this paper, we consider cases of both success and failure in past user interface tools. From these cases we extract a set of themes which can serve as lessons for future work. Using these themes, past tools can be characterized by what aspects of the user interface they addressed, their threshold and ceiling, what path of least resistance they offer, how predictable they are to use, and whether they addressed a target that became irrelevant. We believe the lessons of these past themes are particularly important now, because increasingly rapid technological changes are likely to significantly change user interfaces. We are at the dawn of an era where user interfaces are about to break out of the “desktop” box where they have been stuck for the past 15 years. The next millenium will open with an increasing diversity of user interfaces on an increasing diversity of computerized devices. These devices include hand-held personal digital assistants (PDAs), cell phones, pagers, computerized pens, computerized notepads, and various kinds of desk, and wall-size computers, as well as devices in everyday objects (such as mounted on refrigerators, or even embedded in truck tires). The increased connectivity of computers, initially evidenced by the World-Wide Web, but spreading also with technologies such as personal-area networks, will also have a profound effect on the user interface to computers. Another important force will be recognition based user interfaces, especially speech, and camera-based vision systems. Other changes we see are an increasing need for 3D and end-user customization, programming, and scripting. All of these changes will require significant support from the underlying user interface software tools.

Comments

Copyright © 2000 by the Association for Computing Machinery, Inc. Permission to make digital or hard copies of part or all of this work for personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. Copyrights for components of this work owned by others than ACM must be honored. Abstracting with credit is permitted. To copy otherwise, to republish, to post on servers, or to redistribute to lists, requires prior specific permission and/or a fee. Request permissions from Publications Dept., ACM, Inc., fax +1 (212) 869-0481, or permissions@acm.org. © ACM, 2000. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of ACM for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction (TOCHI) {1073-0516 (2000) http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/344949.344959

Share

COinS