Proceedings: GI 2001

Elements of next-generation, non-WIMP user interfaces

Robert Jacob

Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2001: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 7 - 9 June 2001, 235

DOI 10.20380/GI2001.29

  • BibTeX

     title = {Elements of next-generation, non-{WIMP} user interfaces},
     author = {Robert J. K. Jacob},
     booktitle = {Proceedings of the Graphics Interface 2001 Conference, June 7-9 2001, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada},
     url = {},
     year = {2001},
     month = {June},
     pages = {235--235},
     note = {invited presentation}


I will survey some of the qualities I see as likely to characterize the next generation of emerging “non-WIMP” user interfaces. Rather than trying to predict specific future user interfaces, I am seeking to abstract across a range of these interfaces to find general properties that they will share, particularly those likely to affect how we build user interface software in the future—specifically: continuous input and output, merged with discrete interaction; parallel interaction across multiple modes; natural or “reality-based” interaction, particularly including virtual reality and.tangible media; natural interaction augmented by artificial extensions; and lightweight, non-command, passive interactions, gleaning inputs from context and from physiological or behavioral measures. I will also describe my experimental work on new interaction techniques for eye movement-based interaction, lightweight techniques for browsing in a digital library, and tangible user interfaces, as examples of some of these characteristics. Finally, while new, more powerful interaction techniques and modes can make interfaces easier to learn and use, they are becoming more difficult to describe and build. I will discuss my work on developing new software models and abstractions for specifying and implementing non-WIMP interfaces, aimed at the problems raised by continuous and parallel interaction.