Rimino – poster child for new user interfaces

Screenshot of the Rimino user interface

Behold the Rimino user interface, a masters thesis project by Amid Moradganjeh, taking design inspiration from print posters, with a view to having gadgets be “more aligned with what we need and want as people instead of our needs and wants being dictated by technology.”

Amid’s work was conducted at the Faculty of Science and Technology at Umeå University, located in Umea in North of Sweden. His Rimino project has had some collaboration with the Microsoft Bing mobile team.

The way in for the Rimino design was to look at the quick and easy meaning created through print posters, and their use of font and colour, and their quick conveyance of message and meaning.

Rimino concept video

Rather than write paragraph and paragraph about what Rimino is, this 5 minute video will show you what Amid has in mind for the future interaction of humanoid and mobile devices. There’s some lovely design ideas, and one or two ideas that augmented reality apps like Aurasma could run with.

The inspiration for Rimino

The six pillars of the Rimino user interface design

In his own words, here’s what Amid Moradganjeh describing the thought process behind his Rimino user interface concept. Oh, and do forgive his typo in number 1 in the photo above – his mind is on higher matters! You can more about the design, methods and inspiration at the Rimino website.

Designing a user interface for an E-Paper device quite new as there has not been a device out there that uses a color e-paper as output. The best source of inspiration for this UI would be the print. It makes better sense to have an interface that is not made of glassy icons and feels more like a print paper. Also the UI behavior on E-Paper would be more natural if there is no strong motion within the UI. This makes the UI design a bit challenging as motion and animations are giving a whole new meaning and feel to the Interface on screens. This would be a challenge for me to design an interface that has minimum motions in it. To replace the lively motions in the interface, I suggest using strong visual elements that communicate with the user in a passive way, the way posters or book covers are designed. I would like to call this interface a “poster interface” where every stage of the UI seems like a poster on the device.

What makes poster a poster? The interface for this concept device would have the look and feel of a poster as it will have the same way of communicating the content with the user. In order to bring that feel into the UI, I summarized what is found important in the graphic language in posters.

Type layering: the way types are used in different sizes, colors and opacity to break the message into layers that users would understand at different levels they need.

Heavy typography: It is interesting how typography is being used in posters as the main and strongest element. The freedom of using the types in size and thickness that might not look like what we expect from a UI still a great way to make the e-paper UI more meaningful.

Strong visual elements: Posters are designed to catch the attention from distance and make people feel interested to read them. That is one of the reasons that strong visual elements in posters are the key to their visual language.

Background color and patterns: The use of strong colors and backgrounds in posters to catch the attention and make the types and visual elements stand out.

Distracting layout: What we see in many posters is that the more distracted the layout the better the poster works for its purpose, breaking rules to make the experience different.

Comments?

So what do you think of the interface ideas here? Do you, as the designer intended, see it as something that would make your device interaction more human, or do you simply like it because it looks good? Or not, as the case might be. I’d love your feedback on these new ideas – scroll down the page a little, and leave your comments under the ‘Leave a Reply’ heading.

Hat tip – thanks to Aaron Turner-Jones for putting me on to Rimino.