Tagged With user interfaces

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In a few short years, touchscreens have revolutionised the way we interact with technology. But to make the best use of our senses, the next generation of displays will not be flat, but have three-dimensional, reconfigurable surfaces.

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We've all spent hours — maybe even days — of our lives cursing the slow crawl of the dreaded progress bar. But did you ever stop to think about how much worse it might be if the bar wasn't there in the first place. Fortunately, thanks to one grad student's genius idea back in the 80s, we'll never have to find out.

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We all aspire to a certain amount of digital desktop cleanliness, but I think rather few of us actually keep up on it. As the days go by, the clutter builds bit by bit, and it's just irritating enough to be unpleasant, but not a big enough deal to actually clean up.

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Lately, I've been thinking about the multitasking experience on Android, and I feel like there's still a lot to improve. I love how the thumbnails come up, but in Android 4.2.2, they made it so that the current app joined the list of "Recent Apps". This looks great on phones and small-sized tablets, but it looks really bad on large tablets in landscape mode. Here's how to make it better.

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Surely, by now, we've all seen the latest addition to Instagram, the long-awaited website. What did you think of the turnout? Was it what you expected? To be perfectly honest, I had no idea what to expect. My hope was that they would create some sort of a nice grid layout. To my surprise, they did not. As a long-time interface designer, I wanted to test my skills and design the Instagram I wanted for myself.

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Facebook showed us its new News Feed yesterday. It's as pretty as anyone could have hoped, and it's a wonderful update to the design. But lost in the big images and new feeds was a pretty major change that actually started weeks ago: the first thing you look at on Facebook's page has moved.

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Safari is technically a platform on its own, separate from the iTunes App Store. Until the day that Gatekeeper comes to iOS, it will continue to be the most open way for users to access information on Apple's mobile devices. But besides iCloud Tabs and Reading List, Mobile Safari has remained basically unchanged since its unveiling in 2007.

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Capri, the next 3D sensor by the makers of Microsoft Kinect, will bring precise, fast motion tracking to everything — laptops, TVs, lifts, robots and appliances. Basically, it will turn everyone into Jedis or wizards, allowing you to casually wave your hand to make machines do whatever you want.

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What better way to start the year than to make predictions — some obvious, some not so obvious — as to what trends will become more widely used in the design community. Each year seems to bring new ideas to the community and once they gain enough traction, they eventually become the norm (we're looking at you, "pull to refresh").

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Have your doubts about the tiled interface in Windows 8? Well, if this kid is any indication, it's not hard to get the hang of. With some commands from his dad, and a little (sometimes a little annoying) guidance here and there, he's able to get around just fine, and he's only three years old.

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I don't know if Samsung is now just taunting Apple or if its user interface people in the Windows 8 department are the same ones who work in the TouchWiz department. Check out the new S-Launcher, which is to be included in all of Samsung's Windows 8 machines. Does it look familiar to you?

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Well, this is going to be weird. After calling Microsoft's radically wonderful UI design "Metro" for a couple of years now, Microsoft is said to be ditching the name for legal reasons. So now what the hell do we call it?