How “human” can your mobile phone be? If you are thinking Siri as an example, check this TED talk out, it will surprise you.
This short video made me smile: I will definitely spend more time with my mobile phone if it is that sweet! The whole idea of improving hand held device nowadays is not only making them more reliable, faster, or smaller, but making them more user-friendly. So ultimately, how friendly can a device be? This TED talk pointed out a very good direction for us: bring digital experience more close to our physical experience. Just like you can now speak to Siri than just navigate through pushing some buttons, or you could flip over pages when you are reading books on iPad. Though the ideas in this talk are not so practical or necessary in some peoples’ eyes, I believe it is a right direction for UI designers to pursue: making the interactions with technology more intuitive.
However, another question we need to address at the same time is, to what degree should the digital world resembles the physical world in order to not be considered as “backwardness”? As we’ve adapted ourselves with the button “language” of digital world, even we’ve been enjoying the “high-class” sensation when we use the superb multi-touch screen, do we really want the feeling of the thickness of the books back?
I guess there is a lot of user research need to be done before any fancy new designs being carried out. Overall, making the technology more intuitive, more “human”, and more considerate in a clever way is definitely the future of digital tech design.