Its Time To Say Goodbye To The Smartphone UI

We have reached a point in time where all our smart phone devices look almost the same. They have the same characteristics and the same form factor. However, it could have been so different. If the iPhone would have launched just a few years later, then maybe the blackberry would have been the defacto form factor today?

In 2016, it will be 9 years since the iPhone was released. 9 years since we have been using the concept and design idea of apps aligning in a row on the home screen. In a Wired article I was reading earlier today, designers from Google argued that sometimes, it is easy to get complacent and not move the status quo needle. Our current device and design choices have its consequences — so many body language studies over the years have shown that our electronic devices contort our bodies into weak postures i.e, hands folding inwards, hunched shoulders and back, and craning

The traditional weak posture — arms inward, back hunched and neck craning

neck. The studies show that while adopting these postures take up less personal space, it is also subconsciously reduces confidence and promotes a feeling of unhappiness. Once you subconsciously enter an unhappy state of mind, these feelings continue to languish with you even after you have used your electronic device. It it no wonder then that the young people of today are unsure of themselves. If you look around you, quite a few of them also continue to adopt those hunched body postures after using their devices. Also craning your neck makes your head heavier to support for the neck muscles. Our devices and the way they are designed are slowly killing us.

In conforming to the most popular design choice of our time, i.e, rows and rows of apps, we have become complacent to innovating new methods of interaction. You know this complacency has reached new heights when you see the app icons philosophy being crammed into smart watches. It is ridiculous to think that users would like to browse through rows and rows of apps on such a tiny screen! As of now, I do not buy into it.

From what is available in the public domain, Google is at the forefront of this change. They are experimenting with voice and hand gestures for UI navigation.

This is a significant step forward as the possibilities from here seem endless.

In the future you may have one device sitting in your pocket that controls your e-life. This device may not need a screen to interact with and still be interactive using only voice and hand gestures. This device could also inadvertently end up improving our posture.


Originally published at www.asfaq.com on December 31, 2015.

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