Tuesday, January 8, 2019 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Environmentally-Lit User Interface

Bob Burrough:

I’ve been working on an environmentally-lit user interface. It’s lit by the lighting around you rather than some arbitrary light source (or just blinding white).

Bob Burrough:

An environmentally-lit interface takes information from the environment around the device and uses it to render physically-accurate things on the screen. It appears as if the lights around you are shining on the things on the screen. If the lighting in your room is bright, then the things on your screen are brightly lit. They can even take on complex characteristics like mother-of-pearl or opal.

Now, this doesn’t mean you have to hold a flashlight over your phone to read the web in bed. What it means is designers are empowered to use the design language of the physical world to design their interfaces. Gloss, glitter, glow-in-the-dark, or any other visual quality may be used. In the case of reading a website in a darkened room, the web designer may apply elegant backlighting or glow-in-the-dark treatments to maintain legibility. This is far superior to today’s method of making your phone act like a spotlight that shines in your face.

This is really cool.

Bob Burrough:

Flat design results in higher cognitive load.

Dave Smith:

Burrough’s “Project Erasmus” is a user-interface (UI) implementation that uses the lighting in your immediate environment to light, shade, and reflect on the software elements in the device. The result is an incredible, immersive visual effect that would make you want to use your phone even more (as if that’s possible).

Andrew Orr:

For example, software toggles and menu bars develop drop shadows and highlights based on light sources in the room. He does this by attaching an Olloclip wide angle lens to capture the light, then the software renders that light as a scene. This is real-time rendering and it makes elements on the screen appear as physical objects.

See also: TMO Daily Observations.

Comments

Stay up-to-date by subscribing to the Comments RSS Feed for this post.

Leave a Comment