Yesterday, I gave a talk to a group of Indianapolis UX professionals and students at our local Indy UX Salon. I talked about where I hope technology is headed and how my vision might effect User Interface Design. The slide deck you see here won't make much sense if you weren't at the talk but I wanted to make it available nonetheless.
The gist of my presentation was this, as a UX/UI Designer, I want to know as much information about my user as possible. You can think of this as a sort of extreme version of Responsive Design. In my vision for our future, every action we take is observed and recorded by the environment around us. And I mean every action. Sensors are getting smarter and better so that we can know things like stress level, precise location, what we see and how we react to it verbally or physiologically. That massive set of data can then be analyzed, interpreted, and in turn, affect the the UIs around us to by hyper-personalized.
Imagine the power of a screen knowing its viewer is dyslexic and it being about to reformat all text to Dyslexie. Or, imagine being able to explore a new city without consonantly staring down at your phone for information. If the environment senses we are nervous or lost, it can immediately surface directions to us (because it also knows where we are going). There are a lot of concerns about this new world (privacy, visual overload, abuse by advertisers, etc.) but I want to start thinking about from a positive perspective now and see if we can't get a head start on designing more useful interactions.
The message I gave last night was this: I want to live in a world where our technology is not constantly demanding our attention. I want to get to the point where we can just act naturally and our environment reacts accordingly. The less direct user input the better; the system should know what we want and react accordingly. I think we're closer to this world than you might think and I'm growing tired of living life through the demanding metal and glass rectangles that surround us. I don't have many answers yet. I'm just trying to start the conversation.