Today our research group watched a video of Ivan Sutherland’s 1963 Sketchpad system. Afterward we had a long discussion about it, and about how much things have or have not changed in the last 57 years.
It is surprising that we have not gone collectively further since then in creating procedural interfaces. This suggests that it is an inherently hard problem, in which simple cases (like the ones that were tackled in Sketchpad) are low hanging fruit, and more complex cases become exponentially more difficult.
But now that we are entering an age in which virtual and mixed reality are going to be more widely adopted, this might shift. The greater affordsmces of immersive media could be a game changer.
Guess we will see!