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June 25th, 2006

Bumptop ThEvery once in a while, a company somewhere comes up with a cool new idea for a computer interface to replace the standard Desktop/Finder paradigm used in Mac and Windows. These people have a pretty radical and very hip new idea for dealing with documents on a virtual 3-D desktop, based upon real-world document handling. It looks really nifty–but it could be undone by the very complex nature of its many features, the same ones that make it so cool. I’m pretty hip with using computers, and yet it’d take a lot of practice for me to get this system figured out. I can only imagine how confusing it might be to users who already find it tough to use today’s more plain desktops.

They have a video you can download to see the software in action. I suggest you take a look at it, though the full-quality movie is about 100 MB (a fair-quality YouTube link is available). Here’s a PDF explaining the idea.

The icons would suggest it’s Mac based. Maybe Apple should look into this?

Categories: Computers and the Internet Tags: by
  1. Shari
    June 25th, 2006 at 13:54 | #1

    The problem with concepts like this is that, while they may or may not assist users in dealing with the computer interface, they most certainly sacrifice some of the benefits that come along with the current interface style.

    For instance, a person would physically stack or file real paperwork in piles of folders. This means you can only see the top file without flipping through the other papers. This is slow and tedious, especially with large numbers of files/papers. The list and coumn views in the current interface style is superior to real life because you can scan a large number of files in a folder instantly.

    The other issue is that everyone organizes things in real life differently. A style which is intuitive to one person may be convoluted, confusing, or non-sensical to another.

    Unless technology permits us to act in 3D (rather than in 2D as we do now), I think it’s always going to be more cumbersome to attempt to emulate a real world experience on a computer screen.

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