Coding Horror

programming and human factors

Is UI still in the stone age?

The Top 8 reasons user interface design is in the stone age is more of a rant than a reasoned argument, but it's still worth reading. If UI design is in the stone age, why are there at least two sites which document known UI patterns?

  1. UI Patterns and Techniques (soon to be a book)
  2. Web/Gui/Mobile Design patterns

I think we've come a long way from the stone age-- particularly after sitting through some very impressive demos of the Windows Vista and Office 12 UIs at PDC 2005 today. But it's true that there's still much to be done.

I was struck by how aggressively Microsoft has folded web metaphors into Vista and Office-- things like the forward and back buttons, focusing on a single task per page, and the ubiquitous search box. I've talked about this before, and I'm glad to see Microsoft leading the way.

Speaking of Vista, Flowstate is a great UI blog from an ex-UI architect for Windows Vista. Prior to Vista, he worked on Money-- one of the first inductive user interfaces. Subscribed!

Written by Jeff Atwood

Indoor enthusiast. Co-founder of Stack Overflow and Discourse. Disclaimer: I have no idea what I'm talking about. Find me here: