As recently as 25 years ago, the physical reality in which we lived was an analog world that was becoming increasingly global. While globalization is still very much a factor today, our world is now decidedly connected and is becoming increasingly virtual. However, thanks to a combination of enabling technology and the possible impacts of global warming, some aspects of globalization are shifting back to being local. This connectedness—both virtual and local—is contributing to the emerging world of smartware.
As we detailed in “The Smartware Transformation,” smartware is a convergence of emerging technologies and science. Artificial intelligence (AI) is fueling its rise. The technologies that are enabling smartware include the Internet of Things (IoT), mixed-reality environments, and additive fabrication, or 3D printing, as are incredible advances in sciences such as genomics and neuroscience. Some or all of these advances are core to the emergence of incredible new products that are just over the horizon—products such as self-driving vehicles and neighborhood parts manufacturing. In “Smartware, AI, and Magical Products,” we took a look at the current darling of technology and entertainment media: artificial intelligence. We’ll continue that analysis in this installment, as we look at some other core smartware technologies, before covering the key sciences underlying smartware in our next column. Read More
Technology is undergoing a revolution, as are product user experiences and even the profession of UX design. Every year brings new advances in technology and User Experience, changing the future for the better. While it’s hard to predict the future, current UX-design trends [1, 2] show some of the directions in which we’re heading. Let’s explore some of these trends.
Motion design is emphatically not about creating bouncy, fancy animations. Motion design is all about storytelling, as Figure 1 shows. Motion guides the user to the sequence of actions necessary to perform a task. Motion drives the user experience and acknowledges the actions the user has performed by providing feedback. Read More
User experience (UX) design and user-interface (UI) design are two distinct, yet interconnected aspects of design. Both are important, must complement each other, and play crucial roles in the development of mobile applications, including virtual private networks (VPNs).
A VPN provides a means of protecting the user’s privacy online by establishing a secure network connection—even on an unsafe, public Wi-Fi network. It encrypts online traffic and keep the user’s virtual location hidden.
In this article, I’ll discuss some current design trends that apply to the design of VPNs, as well as some common design mistakes. Read More