Post-WIMP Interface

Post-WIMP Interface: Advancing Beyond Traditional GUI Elements

Post-WIMP (Windows, Icons, Menus, Pointer) interfaces represent a shift from traditional graphical user interfaces (GUIs) towards more natural and intuitive interactions. These interfaces leverage modern technologies to provide richer, more immersive user experiences through touch, gesture, voice, and other innovative interaction methods.

What is a Post-WIMP Interface?

A Post-WIMP interface moves beyond the conventional elements of windows, icons, menus, and pointers that have dominated GUIs since the 1980s. Instead, Post-WIMP interfaces incorporate advanced interaction techniques such as multi-touch gestures, voice commands, motion tracking, haptic feedback, and augmented reality. These interfaces aim to create more natural and engaging user interactions.

Importance of Post-WIMP Interfaces in UX Design

  1. Enhanced User Engagement: Post-WIMP interfaces provide more immersive and engaging experiences by leveraging natural human interactions like touch, voice, and motion.
  2. Accessibility: By incorporating diverse interaction methods, Post-WIMP interfaces can make digital experiences more accessible to users with varying abilities and preferences.
  3. Innovation and Differentiation: Leveraging cutting-edge technologies, these interfaces offer unique user experiences that can differentiate products in competitive markets.
  4. Intuitive Interaction: Natural interaction methods reduce the learning curve and make interfaces more intuitive, especially for users unfamiliar with traditional GUI elements.
  5. Adaptability: Post-WIMP interfaces can adapt to various contexts and devices, providing seamless experiences across smartphones, tablets, wearables, and smart home devices.

Key Elements of Post-WIMP Interfaces

  1. Touch and Multi-Touch: Touchscreens support single and multi-touch gestures, such as swiping, pinching, and tapping, enabling direct interaction with digital content.
  2. Voice Interaction: Voice commands allow users to interact with systems hands-free, using natural language processing to understand and respond to spoken requests.
  3. Gesture Recognition: Motion sensors and cameras track user movements and gestures, enabling interaction without physical touch, often used in gaming and virtual reality.
  4. Haptic Feedback: Tactile feedback, such as vibrations, provides physical sensations in response to user actions, enhancing the sense of interaction with digital elements.
  5. Augmented Reality (AR): AR overlays digital information on the real world, enabling interactive experiences that blend physical and digital environments.
  6. Virtual Reality (VR): VR immerses users in fully digital environments, often involving complex interactions through motion controllers and spatial tracking.

Best Practices for Designing Post-WIMP Interfaces

  1. Understand User Context: Consider the context in which users will interact with the interface. Design interactions that are appropriate and convenient for the environment and device.
  2. Leverage Natural Interactions: Utilize interaction methods that mimic natural human behaviors, making the interface more intuitive and reducing the learning curve.
  3. Provide Feedback: Ensure that the system provides clear feedback for user actions, whether through visual cues, audio signals, or haptic responses.
  4. Maintain Consistency: Design consistent interactions across different devices and contexts to provide a coherent user experience.
  5. Prioritize Accessibility: Ensure that all interaction methods are accessible to users with varying abilities. Provide alternatives for users who may not be able to use certain interaction types.
  6. Test with Real Users: Conduct usability testing with diverse user groups to validate the effectiveness and intuitiveness of the interaction methods. Iterate based on feedback.

Tools for Creating Post-WIMP Interfaces

  1. Development Frameworks: Frameworks like Unity and Unreal Engine support the creation of immersive AR and VR experiences.
  2. Voice Interaction Platforms: Platforms such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Siri provide tools for developing voice-enabled applications.
  3. Gesture Recognition Software: Tools like Leap Motion and Microsoft Kinect offer SDKs for developing gesture-based interactions.
  4. Haptic Feedback Devices: Hardware and software solutions from companies like Immersion Corporation provide tools for integrating haptic feedback into interfaces.
  5. AR Development Kits: ARKit (Apple) and ARCore (Google) offer robust tools for developing augmented reality applications.

Real-World Examples

  1. Smartphones and Tablets: Devices like the iPhone and iPad use multi-touch gestures and voice assistants (Siri) to provide intuitive, touch-based and voice-driven interactions.
  2. Smart Home Devices: Amazon Echo and Google Home use voice commands to control smart home functions, offering hands-free interaction.
  3. Gaming Consoles: The Nintendo Switch and PlayStation VR incorporate motion controls and haptic feedback to create immersive gaming experiences.
  4. AR Applications: Pokémon GO uses AR to overlay digital creatures on the real world, enabling interactive gameplay that blends physical and digital environments.
  5. Automotive Interfaces: Modern cars, like those from Tesla, use touchscreens and voice commands to control navigation, entertainment, and vehicle settings, reducing reliance on traditional buttons and knobs.


Post-WIMP interfaces represent the future of user interaction, moving beyond traditional GUI elements to incorporate touch, voice, gesture, and other innovative methods. By leveraging these advanced technologies, designers can create more intuitive, engaging, and accessible user experiences. Implementing best practices and utilizing the right tools ensures that Post-WIMP interfaces meet the needs and expectations of modern users.

Ondrej Zoricak
Ondrej Zoricak