We are in a consequential shift in design as it relates to human-computer interaction. Design, at its core, has never been primarily about creating objects; it is fundamentally about solving problems. Aesthetic and functional forms and patterns—be they visual, cognitive, or tangible—are the product of problem solving. One of the most formidable problems that we will face when designing user interfaces in the emerging paradigm of ubiquitous computing, is how to manage the limited bandwidth of user attention.
This talk addresses the need to extrapolate new models and metaphors of interaction in order to manage the burgeoning volume of features and signals in the software that mediates so much of our lives. In this world, user interfaces must become more transparent and unobtrusive. This means that they will need to do more than simply present features and information, they will also need to be able to know when to hide these things from us as well. Interfaces will have to be designed to proactively think ahead of us, and anticipate what we need before we need it.