On the Evolution of Digital UI

I am going to share some of my thoughts on the evolution of the UI or user interface in the world of computing. it is an exciting time to have this conversation as new technologies rise and converge with others to offer the possibilities of a very robust set of UI choices for designers and developers, like myself, to choose from and/or explore.

When trying to understand the evolution of certain trends and phenomena, it can be helpful to categorize the apparent groupings of that evolution.
When discussing the evolution of digital or computer based User Interfaces (UI), that grouping could be demarcated by apparent epoch or prevailing UI style.  Further, I am looking to discuss GUI or Graphical UI — the number of different interfaces used by users at any dimension of the computer architecture can be a pretty high number, given the computer’s highly compositional make-up.

Timeline of GUI Evolution

  • GUI Phase 1
    text/keyboard

  • GUI Phase 1.5
    Mouse

  • GUI Phase 2
    Touch

  • GUI Phase 3
    VUI

  • GUI Phase 4
    AR/VR

  • GUI Phase 5
    BCI

At first, computers were typed input only (ok, before that there were punch cards used, but lets consider this from around the time of the Apple 1).
Peripherals started with the mouse, though the design has gotten sleeker with time, thats in part to roll on deodorant…


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