Keynote Talk: Designing the User in User Interfaces

October 6, 2014 | Honolulu, HI

Speaker: Mark Bolas
Host: ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST)

In the good old days, the human was here, the computer there, and a good living was to be made by designing ways to interface between the two. Now we find ourselves unthinkingly pinching to zoom in on a picture in a paper magazine. User interfaces are changing instinctual human behavior and instinctual human behavior is changing user interfaces. We point or look left in the “virtual” world just as we point or look left in the physical.

It is clear that nothing is clear anymore: the need for “interface” vanishes when the boundaries between the physical and the virtual disappear. We are at a watershed moment when to experience being human means to experience being machine. When there is not a user interface – it is just what you do. When instinct supplants mice and menus and the interface insinuates itself into the human psyche.

We are redefining and creating what it means to be human in this new physical/virtual integrated reality – we are not just designing user interfaces, we are designing users.