There's a new personal e-zine, The Idea Basket, that's debuting today with an editorial on the commercial feasibility of a next-generation user interface. The editorial talks about the state of current user interfaces, software such as Apple's iPhoto that is pushing the envelope of interface design, reasons why there has recently been such a lack of innovation and research in the field of interface design, and some ideas that both consumers and developers can employ to help bring computer software to the next level of usability.
"Many people have argued that free software has trouble creating good user interfaces. Recently Matthew Thomas posted a nice example of this argument, which I found on Joel's web site. It was cool to find mpt's article, because it nicely articulates what's gone wrong with many projects - including past versions of all the major Linux/UNIX desktops." Read the rest of the editorial at Havoc Pennington's site.
"I’ve been having a discussion with someone from IBM about whether it’s ever possible for Free Software to have a nice human interface. In theory, I think it is possible. But in practice, the vast majority of open-source projects are also volunteer projects; and it seems that the use of volunteers to drive development inevitably leads the interface design to suck. The reasons are many and varied, and maybe one day I’ll turn this into a long and heavily-referenced essay. But in the meantime, here’s a summary." Matthew Thomas, a Mozilla contributor, explains why not many of the Free applications feature a good UI like most of their commercial counterparts do.
"Adobe Systems Inc. today will unveil one of the most important applications for Apple's MacOSX. The business world was able to hop on board the OSX bandwagon last November when Microsoft released Office v.X, but now the creative community can soon join the converts with the announcement of Photoshop 7.0. Photoshop 7.0 adds new features (the "Healing Brush" is one of them) and, of course, a new Aqua interface, but it's still the same familiar application that the creative professionals know and rely on to make a living." Despite the problems of the port, Photoshop 7 for OSX is here. Read the exclusive report and screenshots at MacCentral.
Stardock, the company behind WindowBlinds, the theme engine for the Windows operating systems, started a competition regarding GUI design. One of the categories where you can compete and win at GUI Olympics, is operating system User Interface design. By using the Stardock products in order to create compatible WindowBlind themes, you can enter the competition and you can even choose represent OSNews! Read more about the event and the cash rewards here.