Last year, according to Gartner, with belts tightening, technology executives need to focus upon disruptive technologies (that cut costs). The top ten list of disruptive technologies makes strange reading. How will social computing and mash-ups cut costs (enterprise 2.0?) Most interestingly, coming in at number six on the list is “user interface”. Now let’s leave aside the fact that a “user interface’ is hardly a technology (it is how technology manifests itself to the user) I’m interested by the fact that it can be considered to be disruptive. What is disruptive about user interface design?
But think a little further. What is really disruptive is the realisation that good design is more than just adherence to functional requirements; good creative design is more than ‘bells and whistles’ or ‘gold plating’. A good user interface will cut costs by enabling the internal user base be more efficient and productive. A good user interface will enable customers to succesfully complete their transactions / goals. In a world where poor UI on enterprise applications remains, maybe user interface is indeed a disruptive technology after all.