Looking Forward to 2016

Among my new years resolutions is to stop paying attention to UI and UX minutia conversations — things like “how should a hamburger menu work?” Instead I want to focus on the inspiring and future-looking ways that people are inventing new forms of interactivity.

And with a handful of sites posting their best-of lists, it’s easy to look back and see that some amazing work was done in 2015. These are collections that are definitely worth poring over…

Fast Co’s The Year’s Boldest Ideas In User Interface Design has 12 projects.  I’ve posted about some of them before, such as Project Jacquard and the HoloLens and Magic Leap AR platforms. Others, like Zero UI, look at a future where the screen isn’t the primary way we interact with systems. Or the Reality Editor that lets you connect and manipulate the functionality of physical objects.

Creative Applications Network’s 10 Most Memorable Projects of 2015 has lots of inspiring work. Ethical Things “looks at how an object, facing everyday ethical dilemmas, can keep a dose of humanity in its final decision.” And In the Eyes of the Animal looks like a pretty high-gloss immersive VR experience. (As a side note, it was commissioned by Abandon Normal Devices — and their site is full of plenty more amazing projects.)

IXDA posted their 2016 Interaction Awards finalists, and if you hurry you can vote for the People Choice Award. All of the entries are interesting, but I was particularly drawn to those that crossed the physical/digital divide…

Lastly, Plan has their 10 best reads of 2015. Lots of smart strategic thinking about UX, design in the enterprise, AI, and future trends. I think Emmet Connolly’s post, Has visual design fallen flat? nicely speaks to how “flat” design has resulted in a dullness and sameness to every website and app today. But he offers hope, for design aesthetics are often driven by new technologies — and there’s lots of new tech just around the corner.

Ok. Are we ready? It’s time to invent some new and amazing types of interactivity in 2016. Let’s get creative. Happy new year.