tom haynes

Natural user interfaces

Don Norman’s “Natural User Interfaces Are Not Natural” is insightful.

Control of our systems through interactions that bypass the conventional mechanical switches, keyboards, and mice is a welcome addition to our arsenal. Whether it is speech, gesture, or the tapping of the body’s electrical signals for “thought control,” all have great potential for enhancing our interactions, especially where the traditional methods are inappropriate or inconvenient. But they are not a panacea. They come with new problems, new challenges, and the potential for massive mistakes and confusion even as they also come with great virtue and potential.

Gets me brainstorming what the gestures for copy and undo should be, the right ways to show users what gestures are available (and what they do), and conventions for feedback when a gesture doesn’t elicit a response.