Sunday, March 22, 2009

An idea: "Geographic" User Interface (GEOUI)

No its not a spelling mistake, I meant Geographic not Graphic.

This post is an attempt to reinvent GUI, or at least enhance it.

Graphic User Interface (GUI) is a great invention, but with more and more options, forms get crowded, users get confused, options are hard to find. Cody illustrates more of this here.

I will propose the Geographic User Interface (GEOUI) as a Sphere. This Sphere represents your application or operating system. Divide this sphere into sections for categorization purposes. Place the most commonly used (basic) options as icons on the surface of the sphere. The user has the ability to zoom to the sphere by using the scroll. He can also pan by holding the left click and drag the sphere. This way he can navigate through the sections.

When the user zooms to the sphere, more options start to appear, you may place the advanced options here (The scale concept). So if he is looking for an option in the Control Panel he will pan to the control panel section and just scroll up to find his option. Easy and simple.

Double clicking the icon will open the option. Now here you can switch back to GUI or create some nice way to represent your forms in the Sphere. You may want to open another Sphere but this will consume more RAM. (Edit: I proposed a new file system to achieve this, Read here for more details Geographic File System GeoFS)

The implementation is easy. If Google Earth is an open source I would remove the earth and replaced it with a white sphere leaving the rest of the tools as is.

Now I am going to add my options as placemarks with regions to scale them up. The user may want to change the color of the sphere. Thats it, the GEOUI is ready.

I already mentioned a hint about this idea in the Golden Spoon application post. I wanted to elaborate it more here.


  1. This is really exciting! Just try to imagine the features and possibilities with this. I do hope you are planing to create this GEOUI?

    A fresh idea Hussein. And how simple! An OS that works like a sphere. I think it would be great. And practical. The interface will be so much easier.

    There might be one problem/question:

    How much of your computer (I'm thinking processors/RAM/CPU et cetera) will this use? But, you'll probably be able to make it simple and clean - and using a small amount of the computer.

    Great idea Hussein!

  2. @Andres

    Thanks for your valuable comment friend

    If the geShout didn't work I'll go with this, the journey of life never ends :D

    Exactly, trying to imagine the life with this, would be nice..

    As for your question, its actually a crucial note to be considered..

    I don't know about the hardware.. we need to have someone specialized in hardware to analyzed this.. Anyone have any idea about that?

    The nice thing is that Google Earth

    If open this page you will notice that Google Earth is loading on your browser and you can smoothly pan and zoom..

    I don't have a complex system yet I can pan and zoom smoothly..(that's what I want)

    But we need some more data .. anyone?

  3. I like the idea and I like the name. A wonderful play on "G"UI!

    Like Anders said, the interface will be so much easier. I will also add that it will be so much more intuitive. Everything is visual.

    If this idea is combined with Anders' touch interface, the result would be a great UI.

    As to the hardware, Google Earth can run in your browser; So, this could work as it has direct access to the OS or to the hardware/BIOS.

  4. @Cody,

    Lovely, a spherical touch screen!

    Too early for that.. It would be great,,

    Imagine hold your both fingers and pull to zoom..

  5. @Cody

    Yes! Precisely, THAT would be great!

    @Hussein (or everybody)
    As for the idea itself, I once again think this is really cool.

    And again: I think you have to remember to keep the CPU etc. as low as you can.
    I guess that such a graphical and visual interface might use a bit more than a regular one.

    If you accomplish that, I'll be very interested!

  6. @Andres

    creating that interface will be one great invention, especially with a touch screen, you are the one who inspired me for this post remember..

    Then we can easily use the Apple MacBook Wheel to adapt our GEOUI!


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