The discussion in the article, which is largely about the UI advances
the Core Animation feature of Leopard will make possible, reminded me
of the discussion we've been having about how the iPhone ads are
touting the UI as a feature and how novel that is.
My general attitude towards this article is one of cautious
skepticism, likely due to my being a cranky UXP consultant. It's also
likely due to the terms "animation" and "UI" being used in the same
paragraph (or sentence even). It makes me... twitchy.
However, one of the points in the article is that applications are
becoming more widget-like... simple, do-one-thing-and-do-it-well
pieces of code. It's also saying that people are beginning to expect
these types of apps to do what they do with a little flair. They give
the example of Disco, which smokes as you burn a CD (and apparently if
you blow into the microphone, the smoke will start to drift).
Now, being an early-adopting, beta-loving geek, this pretty accurately
describes my system. Tons of apps, each for a specific purpose. Some
with flair, others pretty invisible. But if you look at my computer
vs. my wife's computer... mine is basically unusable by anyone other
than me. My wife, I think, is a good representation of a lot of
computer users out there. Novel interfaces put her off... watching her
learn to use Joost, I saw many frowns and heard many curses. : ) So
this (unscientifically) leads me to believe that "flair" and highly
animated UIs will lead to more confusion among non-expert (or
non-obsessed) computer users.
To say nothing of the task of creating UI standards when it's
effortless to, say, turn the desktop upside down and make it into a