Presented at FITC Toronto 2017
More info at http://fitc.ca/event/to17/
Presented by Michelle Cortese, Refinery29
With the rising popularity of immersive media, we’ll need to rethink UI standards around a new modality. As communication becomes more gestural, conversational, and less typographic, we will need to ensure it does not become abstract. In a world threatened by fake news, ensuring a future of clear, nuanced, and truthful communication will be incredibly important.
This talk unpacks a condensed history of typography and justifies why said history can be used as a jumping off point for designing the future of user interfaces. We will discuss how to reconsider typographic history—and the nuances of phonetic letterforms—when inventing new user interfaces for a future of modular, invisible, and alternate reality devices.
Delve into the history of typography as a means to unpack potential upcoming conventions for the future of UI.
UI-focused designers, developers, and thinkers currently working in emerging media spaces.
Assumed Audience Knowledge
General awareness of tools and standards in the present UI landscape.
Five Things Audience Members Will Learn
The history of the phonetic alphabet
How that history is connected to the modern GUI
Why the connection between the synthesis of the phonetic alphabet and the design of your phone’s GUI is important
How this information can be used to foster design thinking as we try to redesign UI standards around a future of modular, invisible, & alternate reality devices
Specific frameworks to organize and streamline our thinking in regards to the future of UI
FUTURE TYPE: Using the History of Typography to Inform the Future of UI
Why the history of typography can be used as a
jumping off point for designing the future of UI.
How to reconsider the nuances of phonetic letterforms
and adapt them to gestural, conversational, immersive
UI; in preparation for a future of modular, wearable,
and alternate reality devices.
I want to walk you through something that is the inspiration behind all of my
thinking as a UX/UI designer, technologist, and futurist.
Here’s some of my work.
as a thought
starter for the
future of UI.
Today’s latin alphabet
is actually a 2000+ year
old invention of war.
Arguably, the best one we ever invented.
& That should change the way you look at your iphone.
Eventually, the Greeks dominated, took
the alphabet, expanded on it, then were
succeeded by the Romans who took the
alphabet, expanded on it, etc.
You have the Latin
Arabic, Hebrew, Latin, and Greek scripts all descended from Phoenician.
So, it’s v late BC and the Romans need a symbol
for Libra Pondo, aka “pound in weight.” So they
start drawing a little “l” and a “b” with bar across
the tops of both letters. As scribes started writing
faster, the symbol morphed into #.
In 1968, Bell Labs had a design problem: the
keypad on their newly designed touch tone phone
In response, they added keys to either side of the
zero, making the keypad a nice even rectangle.
The hashtag, as we know it, was born one day in
2007. An early Twitter user named Chris Messina,
in anticipation of an event called BarCamp,
tweeted out: “how do you feel about using #
(pound) for groups?”
Spoiler: people were into it. And they continued use it, leading Twitter to
eventually fold the feature into their product.
All those texts on
Knowing the lineage of Phoenician letterforms is important (to us practicers of Arabic, Hebrew, Greek,
and Latin-based languages) because it helps us remember what the purpose of UI text really is.
In a world of fake news, the future of
understandable, clear, nuanced, and
truthful communication is going to be
How to reconsider
nuances of phonetic
letterforms for a
future of modular,
wearable, & alternate
“As more and more products become
completely virtual—from chatbots to 3D
projections to immersive environments—
we’ll look to a new generation of virtual
interaction designers to create experiences
driven by conversation, gesture, and light”
— FA S T C O D E S I G N
It means we are the ones who get to scope the
parameters and test the potential interactive standards
for the future of UI.
And that’s an exciting and freeing sentiment.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR US
FUTURISTS, INNOVATORS, TECHNOLOGISTS,
It’s a codified communication visualization invented to subvert travel plans. It exists in its current
form factor because of a history of accidents and random decisions.
Imagine if Apple’s two-finger zoom was a button that just said “ZOOM” on it. It would suck.
And how do we use
By remembering that
text isn’t nature.
has a core
What is the present set of communication needs?
What new standards can we test?
How do we strategize converting the nuances of phonetic letterforms to immersive UI?
What complex methods and frameworks do we have today to experiment with?
So how do we strategize converting the nuances of
phonetic letterforms to immersive UI?
What complex methods and frameworks do we have
today to experiment with?
I’ve broken it down to framing this thinking into two
types of next-gen interfaces: OUI & NUI.
Natural User Interface
Natural user interfaces focus on doing. Interactions are satisfying physical
metaphors. The interaction feels fluid, direct and organic. NUI users feel as
though they are directly and physically manipulating digital content.
Sans-text graphical interfaces
Universally understandable iconography
Turning gestures into triggers
Physical actions over textual or verbal commands
Creating satisfaction through tangibility and
Considering the body’s natural inclination for
communication to convey linguistic complexities
Tailoring the scale of the gesture to the intention
Creating comfort with organic interfaces
Manipulation of the actual physical shape or
position of a device to control it
Body as button to foster interactive intimacy
Flexible displays and malleable sensors for
personalization and ergonomics
ELEMENTS TO EMPLOY & CONSIDER
S A N S - T E X T G R A P H I C A L I N T E R F A C E S
T U R N I N G G E S T U R E S I N T O T R I G G E R S
C O M F O R T V I A O R G A N I C M A T E R I A L S
Zero User Interface
Zero UI describes speech-based, screen-less interfaces that get to the root
of our communication. These interfaces are invisible, personal and adaptive.
According to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, the future of devices will be the
end of devices: “We will move from mobile first to an AI first world.”
Creating satisfying feedback systems
Haptics as a means of confirmation and
Movement as button/trigger
Applying traditional physical buttons/triggers
modularly and sparingly
Broad vocabulary and situational relevance
Necessary level of AI needed for interaction in
Machine learning for adaptivity
Consistent UI across connected objects
Ensuring a consistent voice, mood, and
ELEMENTS TO EMPLOY & CONSIDER