As humans strive to design ever more sophisticated interfaces and experiences, it’s clear we need new models –and new languages– to guide the way. Looking across disciplines for inspiration, we find that biological systems have been perfecting interfaces for eons. Where animals and plants are the users, and ecological systems are the screens upon which interactions, relationships and experiences play out, evolution has produced ingenious design solutions to seriously complex UI/UX problems. Over millions of years, the natural selection of interactions has resulted in a wealth of elegant processes (bees pollinating plants, for example) that mold individual behavior for long-term fitness.
Is there something hidden in nature’s language of interfaces that might reveal a system for designing the next generation of interactions between people and things? What might studying these ecological interactions, and associated interfaces, teach us about our views on UI/UX? What tricks does the natural world employ to signal, filter noise, prevent errors, and make system status visible? In constantly evolving ecological systems, how do nature’s interfaces adapt to meet the needs of it’s users?