Minority Report User Interface

I have a little exercise I give in class to anyone who suggests the Minority Report UI is a good idea:

• Stand up.
• Extend your arms in front of you.
• Hold them there for as long as you typically spend with keyboard and mouse, occasionally moving them around a little and with a lot of wrist twisting. For me, that’s often two four- to six-hour stretches in a day.

Now choose:
[1] I would like to replace my current desktop UI with this, or
[2] I would like to schedule an appointment with someone who does rotator cuff surgery.

People are just not designed to stand there with arms fully or mostly extended for hours at a time.

The fact that people find this so appealing is really a symptom of a larger issue: the fundamental thing many people don’t understand is that “looks cool” does not translate into “actually a good idea for a UI.”