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"It is the ability to evoke the audience's own intelligence and experiences that makes theater work."
The Smalltalk user interface of the Xerox Alto III

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Click to play videoAbout the user interface


User Interface <1976>

Putting all this together [by 1976], we want an apparently free environment in which exploration causes desired sequences to happen (Montessori); one that allows kinesthetic, iconic, and symbolic learning – "doing with images makes symbols" (Jean Piaget and Jerome Bruner); the user is never trapped in a mode (Grail); the magic is embedded in the familiar (Nicholas Negroponte); and which acts as a magnifying mirror for the user's own intelligence (Samuel Coleridge). It would be a great finish to this story to say that having articulated this we were able to move straightforwardly to the design as we know it today. In fact, the UI (user interface) design work happened in fits and starts in between feeding Smalltalk itself, designing children's experiments, trying to understand iconic construction, and just playing around.