6 reasons why UX designers should explore gestural interaction

The movie Minority Report introduced us to the concept of gestural interaction: “speaking” to a computer by waving your hands—no clicking or swiping necessary.

But is gestural interaction really going to drive a new generation of interactive experiences, or is it just a tech trend that’s going to pass?

We’ve been fascinated with touchless interaction for quite some time. But we’re just starting to see gestures being incorporated in mainstream interactive products—and not just Microsoft Kinect games.Interaction Design Interaction Design Interaction Design Interaction Design Interaction Design

Image by GabboT. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.

Image by GabboT. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic.

Until now, user interface design has been focused on user interaction that requires a mouse, keyboard, and touch as inputs. Our tools have evolved to help us design better experiences for these inputs, while adapting to the specific guidelines of the different mobile operating systems and web standards.Interaction Design Interaction Design Interaction Design Interaction Design Interaction Design

But new inputs like voice and gestural interaction add new dimensions that also require new ways of thinking about user experience as a whole. Soon we’ll no longer only be referring to responsive websites as “touch-friendly” websites that adapt to different screen sizes. We’ll need to design truly multimodal experiences, combining various inputs in a seamless flow. We should add “gesture-friendly” to our vocabulary.

“Designers need to add ‘gesture-friendly’ to their vocabulary.”

Advances in the field of computer vision—the way computers see and interpret our behavior—might turn gestural interaction into a daily reality faster than you might expect.

But it’s not just technology that drives innovation. Below, we’ll explore emerging user needs that we need to address by designing better ways of interacting with technology.

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