On Findability and Visual Tags

January 4, 2006

Interfaces are not what they used to be. The computer-human interface is both more and less than it was a few years ago. Interfaces are not only, or even primarily, a screen anymore. Yet, screens remain important to most design efforts, even though interfaces are increasingly part of the environment itself. As John Thackara and Malcolm McCullough both recently pointed out, entire cities are developing into user interfaces as ubiquitous computing environments expand.

Peter Morville has outlined one approach to the challenges posed by ubiquitous computing for people who need to go places or find things. He calls it “ambient findability”: “…a fast emerging world where we can find anyone or anything from anywhere at anytime” (p. 6). Read the rest of this entry »