How many faces does the future of design have? As it turned out, just one.

What will define the user interfaces of the future? Is it all about their colors, fonts, or the elements placing? To tell you the truth, neither of them influences the interfaces of the future. On the contrary, they do mean nothing. Everything because of the NUI conquering the world of future design and development.

Are you familiar with the notion of NUI? If you aren’t, it’s high time you found out more about this phenomenon, taking into account that it is the interface of the future. To cut it short, NUI means Natural User Interface and is a type of interface that is invisible, nonintrusive, and yet highly effective. It uses the abilities skills that we’ve been using our whole lives, reducing the cognitive pressure.

In fact, when it comes to a futuristic design, it will be focusing less on the way it looks and more on the way users interact with an interface (if they do interact).

Principles of Natural User Interface

There are several principles that can be followed in developing NUI. According to a NUI leader and experienced software engineer Joshua Blake, they are:

1. work experience;

2. progressive learning;

3. direct interaction;

4. cognitive loading.

In other words, designers need to learn not to visualize but to understand how to create natural visual interfaces. That’s why Microsoft has created both Kinect and Surface that follow the principles of NUI. Apple has caused a technical revolution with the help of iPads. Such technology as an additional reality assists in developing NUI even more.

Natural User Interface Examples

One of the special traits of NUI is the interpretation of the experience we got in the real world. For example, since birth, we understand how to move things in space just like we can move them in the virtual reality. In theory, a person who sees a computer with NUI for the first time is capable of solving tasks on it just being guided by a real-life experience. That is the reason why there are so many examples of successful NUI projects nowadays.

1. Siri

Among lots of prominent NUIs, there is one certain example almost everyone has tried using at least once. Yes, we’re talking about a world-famous Siri.

siri natural user interface

Siri is an example of how NUI can be operated with the help of your voice only. This technology responds to naturally spoken commands and questions and is considered to be one of the most successful features Apple has ever worked on.

2. VR-headphones

One more example is VR-headphones.

Christoph Mallet, a business development leader, claims that within the next 10 years such business branches as healthcare and real estate will have their own hardware ecosystems for people to be able to test them and to use them later. In practice, Mallet predicts that such things as VR-headphones will be as widespread as the screens we’re watching today at.

Watch the video where Christophe Mallet from Exzeb and Somewhere Else discusses VR design challenges, development tips and more at Awwwards London 2017:

3. Xbox Kinect

This motion sensing input design by Microsoft enables users to achieve the results using pure gestures. There is no need to use any buttons or game controllers. All you need is your hands, which makes the game you play fascinating, bringing it closer to a real life.

nui xbox kinect

Bottom Line

It’s crucial to realize that we aren’t longing for creating a new interface anymore. The future design is interested in the complete absence of the user interface. We’re aimed at the simplification, not at the creation of multiple screens. Performing various actions with the help of a voice or gestures – this is what NUI (natural user interface) really means and this is what the interface of the future looks.

Need a modern interface design for your product? Launch a contest on DesignContest and be surprised and highly satisfied with its results!