Intuitive – alas no

The new Windows 8 Metro interface has drawn praise and scorn in almost equal measure. Widely hailed as an innovative and imaginative departure from established paradigm when used on tablets, it has been roundly condemned when put to use within the PC desktop environment; an environment in which the touch interface seems innately less appropriate. By way of contrast, the Apple OSX interface is commonly held - not least by Apple themselvesĀ  - to be an interface of such intuitive simplicity ('it simply works') that the claim has almost gained acceptance as a simple given. A position that I happen to hold on the issue of the 'intuitive interface' is that there is as good as no such thing in real, practical terms. There may a slightly stronger case for…
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Starry starry night

art, creativity, painting
Starry Night (interactive animation) from Petros Vrellis on Vimeo. Occasionally one comes across a piece of work, whether in the world of atoms or the digital realm of bits and bytes that represents a quantum shift of imaginative and creative endeavour; the kind of work that makes one feel very humble indeed. And Petros Vrellis's sublime, gentle, visionary wonder is such a work. His starting point is Vincent van Gogh's, The Starry Night. The painting itself, as anyone who's even remotely familiar with it, is a night scene looking out over Arles with the blue mountains on the far horizon underneath which a swirling maelstrom of stars dance and whirl in a sky that fills two-thirds of the scene and bears down on the town and fields huddled below. One…
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How touching

In the world of computer interfacing, touch screens have been around for yonks. The mass uptake of smartphones and tablets has in no small part been due to the brilliance and efficacy of the touch screens as applied to these particular form factors and the ability to directly engage with content and the interface by intuitive finger swiping actions as against other more traditional means such as the keyboard, mouse of stylus is demonstrably better. Set against this ergonomic efficacy, of course, are a couple of trade-offs that consumers seem content to put up with. Both centre on the ubiquitous shiny, highly reflective screens that mean using such devices under bright lighting conditions - as on a sunny day, for instance - is near impossible and, to compound matters, the…
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