Your next OS interface…

I’ve been dreaming a lot about the future of the operating system interface lately, for a number of reasons.

The first is Amiga’s recent release of an SDK for their “next generation” system. A good place to get an introduction to Amiga’s vision is in Issue 1 of Amiga World.

The second reason is the discussions I’ve been involved in over at devicetop.com. …trying to get programmers to think about computer interfaces in terms other than “desktops” and “windows” is TOUGH!

The third is the work that Eazel is doing on their Nautilus project. Check out these screen shots. From what I can tell, it’s a zoomable interface for Linux.

The last is Mike Pell’s, StraightFace column. Required reading alert! Mike thinks his first column, “The Desktop is Dead. Deal with it…” is required reading for us designers. I tend to agree.

Addendum: 08/25/2000 12:00:00 PM
I just read this again, and realized that I completely forgot to mention all the great work that Apple is doing on Mac OS X.

Back to basics…

With so many things for an interaction designer to think about, it’s easy to forget about good ol’ Fitts’ Law!

What’s Fitts’ Law, you ask?
In a nutshell, it states that the time to acquire a target is a function of the distance to and size of the target. The shorter the distance and the bigger the target, the shorter the time it takes to, say, click on it.

For more information, check out this great (and fun) introduction to Fitts’ law, written by prolific software designer, Bruce Tognazzini.