London-based product design firm Special Projects has developed an experimental phone UI that's simultaneously forward- and backward-looking. I mean that figuratively, not literally. The designers focused on the non-intuitive nature of switching between apps, and came up with this Magic UX alternative:
On the one hand it's undeniably clever. On the other hand, technology has reached the point where I can no longer tell if we're moving forwards or backwards.
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We don't need a new way of switching between apps. We need to move away from the software-centered paradigm of interfaces. Read the book "Tog on Interface" (published in 1992) in which the author inverts this paradigm and the document is at the top of the hierarchy, not the software. Apps should operate directly on objects in the document. Imagine you are working on a proposal, which contains complex text, spreadsheets, photos, CAD drawings, etc. Wouldn't it be more natural to edit those objects directly in the proposal, rather than have to switch to Excel or Autocad or Photoshop? Some software like OneNote can partially do this for simple objects. But we will never get there as long as engineers are designing software interfaces.
Great solution that inspired me. Thanks guys! I wanna see more works like this one.
Like most people to whom this idea has occurred, I managed to think of several reasons why it's not very good before I even got out of the shower, let alone made a self-congratulatory video failing to demonstrate it actually working.