Humane Computer Design

Could learning to blend in help traditional computing stick around?

Apparently there’s a company called Endless that, according to their website:

[We] created Endless OS — a free and robust computing solution — so people everywhere have access to relevant information and technology.
Our goal is to build a global platform for digital literacy.

An admirable goal to be sure. What interests me most though are their hardware designs. Look at this:

It’s gorgeous. This is designing a traditional desktop computer in a humane way. It doesn’t scream *computer*. Until of course you install it, like so:

That keyboard. The display. Those cables. Grotesque.

These images show part of what is at issue with traditional computers: they look like computers. These things do not. They look more like pieces of decoration. The blend in with the other aspects of our environments. And I think that’s more important than the average fan of traditional computing might realize.

As the ability of modern platforms continues to advance, there is an under-represented advantage to them. They are less seen. They blend in with the rest of human life. They do not require large desks, or rooms, to be dedicated to them in order to be of value. These examples literally feature a desk, but the design of the device itself is a step away from tradition.

I can’t help but think that blending in might be a subtle but effective way for traditional devices to eek out a bit more relevance.