The problem with most devices designed for the average person is that they are designed by engineers working for companies that are trying to sell applications. As a result, just about every device we use these days presents us with an application-centric view of the world. The problem with that approach is that people think in terms of sets of data, especially when it comes to accessing services on the Web.
One small company trying to turn the user-interface construct as we know it today is ExB Communications Systems GmbH, which launched a beta version of a new user interface environment for Google Android devices at the Mobile World Congress conference this week.
According to Dr. Ramin Assadollahi, CEO of ExB, the petitpetit (PTPT) environment works by allowing users to aggregate related applications and services. For example, all services related to business intelligence are grouped under one tab, while another tab might be used for making reservations. Assadollahi says that ExB is trying to change the traditional end user paradigm to better reflect how people actually use devices, especially mobile computing devices that are routinely used to access ecosystems of knowledge that reside in the cloud that continuously stream data.
This information-centric rather than application-centric approach, says Assadollahi, ultimately makes people more productive because it better reflects the way they actually work.
Obviously, trying to market a new user interface in the face of mobile computing vendors that will spend millions promoting their own user experiences is going to be a tough challenge. But that challenge doesn't make ExB any less right about the state of the end user computing experience today. And given the fact that the Google Android operating system is an open environment, it is possible that end users or even the companies they work with may want to start customizing mobile computing devices in ways that Assadollahi describes as "smart home screens" that are personalized to their specific requirements.