A new way to visualize your desktop

Bumptop is a new way to work with files that mirrors much more closing the experience of interacting with your desk in the physical universe. You can stack files, throw them around and even crumple them up in a 3D environment.

When I first watched this demo it felt like a novelty, but the more I thought about it the more potential I saw to organize content in a more dynamic and flexible way.

What I like most about this interface is that it is not trying to teach us a new method of interaction. Instead it is trying to replicate something we are already familiar with. The idea of using metaphors we already understand is a staple of interface design and is what makes things like tabs, desktops and folders so successful.

  • This is simply brilliant..
    people were laughing but i think this is actually what the new “web os” and stuff like that will bring us to..
    and it’s simply lovely:)

  • The problem with this is that it would frustrate me, because I couldn’t do this in real life. Seriously, I don’t know how many times I’m looking at a book, thinking to myself “Man, I wish I had a Google bar on the cover of this thing!” Now I’ll be spinning my finger around a stack of papers on my desk, trying to get them into a pile.
    No good can come from this.

  • Alex Katsanos

    I like it because it’s new thinking..or at least allowing us to think about how we in a 3 dimensional world can relate to a 2 dimensional world. I’m not saying I would use it, but it’s this thinking outside the box that is what progress is all about.

  • Ed

    I’m not sure if this would actually work – but might be good for the MS table thing…if you could use your hands to move the objects.
    Unnecessary pedant mode on:
    Well actually, this isn’t too new any more: ZeroLogik episode 27 featured a few thoughts on this subject, almost exactly a year ago!
    Unnecessary pedant mode off.

  • I really like this idea of using metaphors of the “human life user interface” being displayed in the technology we use. I think the more that technology mimics nature the more comfortable it will be to use. physics seems like something all humans already are required to relate to. I wonder what other ways technology could better adapt to logical structure of the rest of the human experience.
    This guy is on the right track!

  • I heard about this ages ago, but didn’t know it was being released to the public! I’ll give this a go, no doubt.
    It’s a great idea, but might get a little difficult to use after a while. We shall see.

  • Mark Fresh

    It reminds me of seeing demos at internet exhibitions then getting suckered into to a product. The guy’s an expert at the software and makes it look easy; tossing a pdf onto a pile, I bet that takes practice. Could you imagine the mainstream of office users with desktops relating to this product? See how he deleted photos? He called up what looked like a pie chart and selected one of 8 or so wedges, where’s the improvement to a simple desktop in that? Right clicking and select delete is easier.
    Also it’s similar to SphereXP which has been around for a while i.e. nothing new.
    I agree metaphors are great and making the computer world adapt to reflect the real world is great too but this has been happening since GUIs came out. One day people won’t be able to remember real life folders and tabs, in fact I expect some youthful types don’t know that Amazon’s tabs are based on “real tabs”.
    Improve the interface, don’t just think of a fancy way of moving stuff around (I do the latter and that’s why my home is a mess). Things like the Windows “There are unused items on your desktop, click here to clear them away” are actually quite useful; if I have clothes in my cupboard at home I haven’t worn for a year I clear them away to a charity shop.

  • I don’t see a lot of potential here right now.
    But its an idea that should be evolved further.
    First thing that came to my mind:
    How do i find files? Where are the filenames?”
    All the PDF files for example look the same and give no indication of the content.
    I think right now Apples “Quicklook” (Mac OS X Leopard) would help me a lot more.
    But as an alternative “file view” Bumptop could come in handy for sorting files :)
    Let’s see where it bumps!