Menus, Metaphors and Materials: Milestones of User Interface Design

An Article by Boris Müller

Students traditionally learn art and design by studying the masters, analyzing, sketching and interpreting the grand visions of the past. In doing this, they get to understand the ideas, concepts and motivations behind the visual form.

In user interface design, this practice is curiously absent.

  1. ​Interface design is ephemeral​
  2. ​Xerox Star​
  3. ​Magic Cap​
  4. ​Information Landscapes​
  5. ​BeOS Icons​
  1. ​The Mother of All Demos​
  2. ​Essential vs. nice to have​
  3. ​Metaphors We Web By​
  1. Interface design is ephemeral

    Compared to other design disciplines, interface design is ephemeral. You can still buy the Lounge Chair that was designed by Ray and Charles Eames in 1956. But we cannot enjoy the beautiful Calcbot app from 2010 on a current iPhone because the latest version of the operating system simply won’t run older apps.