Designing a fake dashboard for an imagined supercomputer or a hovering control panel for a worldwide surveillance system is an entirely different process than creating a genuinely usable UI. Your goal is to imply things: that the machine is powerful; that the villain is formidable; that the software is intuitive, but that the breadth of its powers border on unknowable. At no point does real-world usability factor in, and nor should it—this is pure fantasy, for an audience raised on Start Buttons, desktop icons and tree menus.
Coleran’s UIs are a mix of old and newer than new, mingling compact pixel art, wireframes and the solid, militaristic reds, blues and blacks of software from the 80s with touch-free gesture screens and overelaborate visualizations from some vague point in the future. It’s the kind of stuff you take for granted in action and sci-fi films, but rounded up in one place, it’s a strangely impressive, almost cohesive view of the future of software, as designed by someone with no contraints. [Mark Coleran via Metafilter]