The User Interface (UI) currently splashed across various screens is about to change in a significant way. User interfaces are currently being used to delight customers by using extensive color pallets and extra features, whereas attention should be of fulfilling user requirements with minimal interaction. Companies are also realizing that customer delight through better design holds the key to market success and are hence employing a range of new approaches.
What does better design mean for an end user? Is it the use of intelligence to take you to your preferred user interface, is it the ability to coordinate color palette in line with users mood or is it something else altogether. Let’s take the example of Nest, the intelligent (and more than) thermostat from Google. Nest understands the heating needs of its user and then programs itself to delight the user by setting an optimum temperature for the user. It makes the user believe he doesn’t even have a thermostat installed. Is this not changing UI as we know it? The Xbox Kinect is another example where many interactions are gesture based.
Current design thinking has often been focused on sticking an iPad screen on every device (Internet of Things or otherwise) and building a swanky app with slick user interface to show you extreme visualization (along the lines of latest video games). Is this the future of UI? What we believe, is that new technologies will fundamentally alter our design approach. The mix of artificial intelligence, chat bots, text processing and image processing will lead to a new era to interaction with the computer. In the near future where computers can see, talk, listen and reply to you, what good are your awesome pixel-perfect user interfaces going to be?
So what role does User Interface play in Internet of Things (IOT). Let’s look at current users for a wind & solar application and draw parallels for analysis
So how are we designing our application to move towards the future? Let’s take a look at how we believe our application will be used
Is this the end of the road for UI designers? Not at all, we tend to bucket most designer skills into the UI category, but this is far from the truth. If anything, new technologies will force us to revisit what it means to design for interaction. So as we start to use technology to move away from emailing excel templates to charts to brief summaries to action items we are moving slowly away from data to action. It will push us to look at the user requirement and focus design to end goals rather than the screen.