Future of software UI and widget graphic design

Hyperlinks, textboxes, and buttons are forever. But are there more intuitive widgets to be created? This is the stuff I think about as a graphic designer when I’m bored, people. With all this new touchscreen, finger motion tech, what’s coming?

Here are the most common user interface “controls” or widgets used in modern software usage:

Text hyperlink

Click button

Textbox (for inputting text)



Resize box handles

Arrow, hand, and I-beam cursors


And those that seemed to have disappeared or aren’t used as much:

Check boxes/radio buttons

Drop-down lists, combo lists

Page “corners”

Line splitter

Progress bar

Hourglass cursor

So why do some of these controls endure while others aren’t used as much or are now non-existent?

There’s all sorts of “frameworks” out there now with their own gimmicky tools or widgets. A good example is Windows 7’s ribbon strip tool. It’s essentially a giant combo box that contains thumbnails. I loaded Paint once in 7 and was quite alienated by it. I was so used to XP’s labels and buttons tools.

But now that all these new touchscreen devices are coming out, it seems the mouse cursors won’t be part of the GUI lexicon anymore. So a person uses their actual hand or finger in place of the arrow or pointer cursors. Therefore, the user is actually using what the mouse and cursor previously represented graphically. So what new things will be created to make using new tech as intuitive as possible?

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