on November 19, 2013 Opinion The Future Of Media Workflow

The Vanishing User Interface

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vanishing-uiXTreme Labs (now acquired by Pivotal Labs) published this insighful article about how user interfaces have evolved over the history of computing, and are continuing to evolve to more natural experiences that fit into the way that every day people think and work. The article astutely points out that "Mature technological applications seamlessly disappear as they integrate into our lives."... a principle that we try to follow at MediaSilo.

The article lays out some categories of new "Natural User Interfaces" that fit more closely into how people naturally behave:

1. Invisible Computing
Invisible computing is when hardware virtually disappears, as computing technology unobtrusively integrates with everyday, natural human function. An example is Apple's Siri, which lets you automate every day tasks like sending a text message using just your voice.

2. Supportive Computing
Supportive computing is computing technology that supports natural human function, rather than requires humans to adapt to computing functions. An example is the Nike+ Fuelband which takes health measurements from your wrist and makes smart recommendations about staying active.

3. Adaptive Computing
Adaptive computing and machine learning intelligently recognize and interpret human patterns to produce output based on relative context. An example is Nest, a smart air conditioner thermostat that detects when you are home and away, and learns your movements to create an automatic temparature schedule.

The article nicely sums up our user interface design goals at MediaSilo. We are always striving for more invisible, less obtrusive user ways of triggering features. One example is the MediaSilo Desktop App (currently in beta) which allows you to upload files into MediaSilo with a simple "Save-As" into a hotfolder on your desktop. No need to log into anything, or learn any new UI.

Infographic showing the evolution of user interfaces from non-personal to natural:


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