On 20th of june 2016, a new titel was received after finishing a Master-degree in Interaction design at IT-University in Copenhagen. The Master-thesis name is: ‘Graphical User Interface Design – Analyzing the Graphical User Interface Design on Operating Systems’. Included in the report are case studies of Apple (iOS and OS X) and Microsoft (Windows). Furthermore, two frameworks were constructed for analyzing the graphical user interface design – one framework for Basic Graphic Design Components and one for Gestalt Principles.
A draft of the thesis’ introduction is included in this post:
Today, people can use multiple digital devices with large and small screens, and choose their preferred context and activity for the human-computer interaction like never before, e.g. browse the internet on a stationary desktop or a portable computer, transfer money on a smartphone, keep track of their health and pulse on the smartwatch while jogging, watch film on demand on the smart tv, play games on the entertainment console, or just read the digital newspaper on the tablet in the train.
The interface types have evolved with the inclusion of touchscreen and with new input possibilities such as fingertips and gestures – instead of just one kind of input in form of the traditional keyboard and mouse. With the multiple options and possibilities today for the human-computer interaction, a well-defined graphical user interface design can be one of the solutions for the operating system software corporations for giving the user a cohesive and consistent user experience on multiple devices, in spite of the increasingly digital ubiquity and complexity that happens around us.
Apple introduced iPhone in 2007, followed by the iPad in 2010, and with the introduction of new devices, different screen sizes, and interface types, the graphical user interface had to adapt to new standards and situations. The largest operating system software corporations have today changed their visual appearance of their graphical user interface design into a more minimalistic design style.
In 2012, Microsoft launched their new user interface design and design language called the Modern UI Design, for their updated version of the operating system Windows 8. Modern UI Design is based on the idea, that the form and function of the interface shall be applied on all Windows devices, both on the desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets, smartwatches and the entertainment console Xbox for a consistent and cohesive user experience. The Modern UI Design Language consists of a flat design of two dimensional shapes in a grid of tiles with sharp edges, sans-serif typography, flat icons, dynamic images, and a vivid color palette.
With the launch of iOS 7 in 2013, Apple started to change their design style based on realism and skeuomorphism into a more minimalistic and flat design style. In 2014, Google announced their design language called Material Design, also inspired by the flat design.