Zuper! 7 Interface
Zuper! tends to completely redesign the interface for its own zuper.com website once or twice a year.
The seventh Zuper! interface is in fact a rather simple search engine interface to a small database containing data about Zuper! projects. By moving some sliders one can look for works that contain Director movies, works with a complex interface and/or works that Zuper! finds 'excellent' himself, etc. 12 sliders with 3 to 14 variable settings. Or one can submit his or her own opinion about the numerous Zuper! projects. But rather than using HTML forms or designing a car radio metaphor interface, the user gets to see a green hill with 'magic' animals and objects centered around a 'host', either Johny or Mathilda, embedded in an aural environment of MIDI instruments and sounds of crickets and running water. Moving the 'sliders' on the hill makes a glowing ball rise up from the 'well' containing an icon that represents a Zuper! project. Johny or Mathilda somehow control or are controlled by this ball.
"Interface, Chapter I: The Well" is about interfaces. It questions some of the interface concepts web users have come to take for granted. With the current state of new media, it is not good or functional design that makes a site easy to use or even pleasant. It is using consensuses, putting a navigation bar in a frame on the left, having HOME and BACK buttons, etc. "Interface" questions these consensuses in a mild way. It is not an attempt at anti-design or counter intuitive design. It merely questions functionalism and user-friendliness. It in fact takes the idea of the GUI one step further. The GUI itself becomes the environment. It no longer is a portal to some mysterious system hidden underneath it. The GUI is the mystery. The fact that you can actually use the interface to find links to Zuper! projects is just a detail and will be abandoned completely as the site develops.
Hardware: Intel P200 based clone, Macintosh Performa 5200, 28.8K modem
Software: Windows95, Hash Animation Master, Photoshop, Flash, PFE ascii editor