Tags: hci

5

sparkline

The Coming Software Apocalypse - The Atlantic

The title is pure clickbait, and the moral panic early in this article repeats the Toyota myth, but then it settles down into a fascinating examination of abstractions in programming. On the one hand, there’s the problem of the not enough abstraction: having to write in code is such a computer-centric way of building things. On the other hand, our world is filled with dangerously abstracted systems:

When your tires are flat, you look at your tires, they are flat. When your software is broken, you look at your software, you see nothing.

So that’s a big problem.

Bret Victor, John Resig and Margaret Hamilton are featured. Doug Engelbart and J.C.R. Licklider aren’t mentioned but their spirits loom large.

No to NoUI by Timo Arnall

A well-reasoned and excellently hyperlinked piece from Timo pushing back against the calls for “invisible” design.

To be fair, I’ve only ever heard the “no UI” argument in the context of “sometimes the best UI is no UI at all.”

Still, this is a great explanation of why “seamlessness” in design is by no means a desirable attribute.

The Past 100 Years of the Future

This (free!) PDF looks like it could be a nice companion piece to Chris and Nathan’s recent book:

Human-computer interaction in science-fiction movies and television.

It’s a work in progress. You’ll notice a lot of placeholders where the images should be. That’s because the studios are demanding extortionate rates for screenshots.

Buxton Collection

Bill Buxton’s collection of input devices going back thirty years.