User Interface (UI) is a medium that mediates the connectivity between human and complex operating systems. The complex operating system could be a computer or a machine. These interactions are called Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Human-Machine Interaction (HMI), Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) etc. depending on the type of the systems. These could be a computer, laptop, phone, car, CNC machine and many more. UI helps to build interaction for both parties in the most easily and seamless way as possible. Commonly, UI comprises digital and visual graphics known as Graphical User Interface (GUI). As similar to physical products, the GUI design has evolved and gone through various progression stages. From a complex process that can only be understood by programmers, developers and engineers to a Skeuomorphic and Flat Design for the use of everyday users. 

Through his studies, Dean has delved into and developed some understanding about HCI, UI, and GUI. With the combination of understanding of eye-movement and psychology of FLOW, not only merely rely on graphic and User Experience (UX) has helped Dean to better understand about good UI design. UI has progressed from textual command inputs, mouse cursors to touch, voice command and handheld device now. As the UI progress, the digital industry is waiting for what would be the next step in future of UI. The answer would probably be gesture technology.

Microsoft Hololens Image courtesy of Microsoft

The gesture technology via augmented reality and mixed reality which can be seen a lot depicted in the science-fiction movies is on its way at the moment. Though some still considered it as in infancy stage, Dean believes this is the future. Based on his multidisciplinary background and his research, he knows what have been shown in the movies would be the future truth. AR and MR will shine and sink down the use of VR in the industry. Despite the wide use of VR in the various sectors in the current industry, the applicability of VR is very limited and hindered the connection between the user and the real world as it occludes the user’s natural surroundings. This is where the problem comes when the user needs to navigate the virtual world without the presence of the physical world they living in. It might greatly work for several applications such as games, 360 viewings or anything relevant but could not be fully optimised due to these issues - the difficulty of setting, require some significant safe space, not fully immersive, non-pervasive and lots more. These issues not only caused various safety and usability issues but also limiting the future progress of VR.

Microsoft Hololens Image courtesy of Microsoft

AR and MR on the other hand support and enhance the connectivity between the user, the system and the real world. AR and MR are immersive and pervasive to the user’s surrounding and can be fully utilised for limitless applications. One of the critical components in AR and MR is the gesture technology where UI designers need to consider and understand about 3D functionality as they need to design 3D User Interface and application within the 3D environment. This functionality is likely to become more prevalent in the future along with other UI advancements. Dean hopes that his understanding of 3D technology could help in shaping this sector in the future of digital technology.

Below are some of Dean's UI/UX portfolios:

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