The Future of PLM User Interface

Old, but very interesting blog post by Thomas Otter from Gartner made me think more about the future of PLM user interfaces. The perspective of multiple cockpits from early models of cars and late models of Boeing 747 was accomplished thoughts about the future trends and recommendation related to the enterprise UIs.

I think this post is still very relevant. I personally liked this one:

[…For those delivering enterprise apps, understanding and using the newer technologies is important. They have the potential to make the UI more compelling and more pleasant to use…]

I made quick search in the archive of PLM Think Tank. I found the old post with thoughts about user interface trends that seem to me going more towards “list” orientation. My examples of UIs coming from different places just confirmed, in my view, this trend. SharePoint, iPhone, Twitter, Facebook… This is the short list of apps that present clear flat strategy in UI building.

So, what I see as the future technological options for PLM User Interface? I’d like to outline few below and will be very interested to hear your opinion and thoughts on that.

1. Diversification. In my view, PLM will soon become more diversified. The “one size fits all” approach is going to end, in my view. Single UI Apps are going to die and will be replaced by multiple composite elements that can be arranged in different ways.

2. 3D. This is a continuation of what was done until now around CAD and 3D models. Things that are 3D today will be focusing on how to make downstream PLM apps more visual.

3. List Everything. It seems to me, list becomes the major user abstraction for everything. Used by multiple apps, list is so simple. You can contextually present any type of information.

4. Visualization. Picture worth thousand words. In many cases if you can visualize something by using charts, pipes, maps and many others, we are making our UI simpler. There is still lots of work to do to make it happen.

So, what do you think will happen in the next couple of years with regards to enterprise UIs and specifically to PLM? Will users convince vendors to diversify UI to make it simpler and social? I think, there is very good chance that those dreams will come true. UIs become hot. People are more and more concerned about user experience and PLM need to stay in focus to deliver the best in the class…

What are your thoughts on this?
Best, Oleg



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