For your eyes only

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Another twitter find: a short article about how custom interfaces make computer clicking faster, easier. The introduction is very snowflake-oriented:

Insert your key in the ignition of a luxury car and the seat and steering wheel will automatically adjust to preprogrammed body proportions. Stroll through the rooms of Bill Gates’ mansion and each room will adjust its lighting, temperature and music to accommodate your personal preference. But open any computer program and you’re largely subject to a design team’s ideas about button sizes, fonts and layouts.

The whole issue of accessibility is of course rich with snowflake effect aspects. I am not sure that I am completely convinced by an approach like that of Supple that tests people for 20 to 90 minutes in order to adapt the user interface. But the general idea is absolutely the right one:

We argue that interfaces should be personalized to better suit the contexts of individual users. Many personalized interfaces are needed because of the myriad of distinct individuals, each with his or her own abilities, preferences, devices and needs. Therefore, traditional manual interface design and engineering will not scale to such a broad range of potential contexts and people. 

If you have additional examples of how and why user interfaces can be snowflaked, then we’d love to hear from you!

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