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Excellence by Design of next generation User Interfaces

One trend that is abundantly clear is the dramatic change taking place in user interfaces (UIs) on the web.  This change is driven of course by new technology but even more by a new found comfort with new methods of presenting information and content…and this ‘comfort’ applies not only to designers, and the businesses they work for, but most importantly, to the consumer.

Here are a few examples to demonstrate new trends in Excellence by Design of user interfaces.

  • The first is shown above.  Its a screen shot from www.lonnymag.com.  There are several aspects to this site I think are spectacular examples of Excellence by Design.  First I should state that the Editor in Chief Michelle Adams, is rapidly rising in stature and I can see why.  Her eye, as represented by the content of her newly launched magazine, is impressive.  More to the point of this column, the magazine layout itself is one of the best I have seen and represents a much improved way to engage yourself in a magazine, online.  The UI, the ability to click adds and get more info, and the ability to change your navigation are all outstanding.  Note that this magazine is done using the tools provided by the site issuu.com so the capability demonstrated by Lonnymag is just an example of what is coming from many other self publishers.
  • Another great example is the new New York Times – Times Skimmer. This new UI for reading my favorite newspaper is another great example of what is coming and how it changes the game of designing for, and engaging in, content for the web.
  • Perhaps the most impressive forward looking example however, is now available on YouTube, where Sports Illustrated has posted a video explaining what is to come with their new publishing approach.  It is startling, incredibly exciting, and demonstrates that the future design of user interfaces will be radically different than what is seen today.  Catch it here.
  • Of course I must mention the new Apple iPad, which I believe is the tip of the iceberg in showing how the device side of user interfaces will be changing.  These tablet like, high fidelity devices are certainly the wave of the future and will have seamless communications so you can connect with others, or perhaps move a piece of content (like a picture) over to your HDTV set with a simple swipe.  The end of the Sports Illustrated video shows another great example, where you use the iPad like device to interact with a show you are watching simultaneously on your HDTV.Update: here is another great iPad UI demo from Penguin books.
  • And lastly, I must mention Ford Motor’s new MyTouch upgrade to its Sync platform. It’s a great system that I admit I have a bit of special pride in, given my role at Ford during the time the Sync strategy was being debated.  Sync, soon with the MyTouch extension, is a great example of modern UI Excellence by Design.

Ford MyTouch with Sync

Yes, we are certainly poised for a great leap forward due to technology (sw and devices) and the comfort of users in  accepting these new UI paradigms.  As with other advances, there will be many implementation that are poorly done, but those that really standout and are successful will be Excellent by Design.

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