Please don't read this notice.

(Not only did you read it, but you went on to read this parenthetical note.)


The ergonomics of the brain


Never use a warning when you mean undo.

Hick's and Fitts' Law

Hierarchical menus are evil!

Forgotten Tools

The Death of the Desktop is Near


What's an interface?

To the user,
the interface is the product.

The Shovel Analogy

A Shovel

The Shovel Analogy

The important part of the shovel.

The Shovel Analogy

The interface of the shovel.

The Shovel Analogy

Cost saving: the interface doesn't matter...

The Shovel Analogy

Microsoft's Solution

"I don't know what percentage of our time on any computer based project is spent getting the equipment to work right, but if I had a gardener who spent as much of the time fixing her shovel as we spend fooling with our computers, I'd buy her a good shovel. At least you can buy a good shovel." — Erasmus Smums

Keep Simple Things Simple

Analog v. Digital

Setting a Digital Watch

[This is a quote from the manual]

Setting an Analog Watch

[This is a quote from the manual]

Other Simple Things That Aren't

The Shovel Analogy

It's not (all) Microsoft's fault

The Problem: Applications

Like Isolated Cities

The Application Centric Model

What's the solution?

How does this apply to the net?

"Begin at the beginning," the King said, gravely... — Alice in Wonderland

So, what does an interface do?

Hint: There are only 4 things...

What can you do with an interface?

That's it!

When designing always return to these building blocks.

Asimov's Rules of Robotics

Raskin's Rules of Interfaces

Is Everything

What dooms the desktop?

It's not about content!

What work do you get done here?

What does the desktop do?

  1. Lets you get the computer into a state where you can enter content
  2. Lets you categorize your content
  3. Lets you navigate to your content

There are better, faster,
more humane ways!

The web is a treasure-trove of examples.


has untapped power.


has untapped power.

1. Get to a state to enter content

2. Categorization

Tags | Search

The death of forced hierarchy

3. Navigation

3. Navigation

The Desktop is Doomed

Why the stagnation?

The Toolkit Straitjacket

We Have a Unique Opportunity

We must not return to the desktop

How can we overcome applications?

Does the net suggestion a solution?

The solution:

Universal Access Interface



"The more 'applications' I try forcing into a tabbed web MDI model under a Mac, the more clumsy it gets. They aren't in my Dock, they can't be apple-tabbed through. Issues like this really frustrate me as I find myself wanting to use more web2.0 ajaxy fancy pants programs." — Slashdot Post


An Example: Enso

Marries the power of:

Design the

The Big Picture

Challenge: Can you think of other solutions.

The Take-Home Message

We are the future of interfaces!

The Death of the Desktop