Graphical User Interfaces: 2D, 3D, and Web3D
by Larry Rosenthal, cube productions inc.
Looking for the 3D Interfaces place
on the WWW. As the year progresses 2001 will be another year "looking
for the killer app" for web3D. The differences between 2D and 3D
discussed in this article should, I hope, assist developer/designers
in the choice to utilize each or the other on the Internet. The
2D interface has always existed within the natural 3D world as a
way to simplify and organize the information of world around us.
The 3D interface can simulate that world and offer the beginnings
of it's properties and our natural reactions and emotions to them.
The capability to offer 3D interfaces to the WWW via all these web3D
technologies should offer designers and developers a way to offer
communications and interfaces that can be used for certain applications
more effectively than ever before.
For Web3D though to succeed as a widely
used web media it must be used to its inherent interface strengths
and not as just adding the latest technology to a web page.
In closing, “The task should define
the interface” The designer/developer should define the technologies
required to create the interface needed to fulfill the task. Web3D
as one of those technologies offers the complexities of the 3D interface,
with it the benefits and challenges of communicating with 3D. When
properly adopted, Web3D can provide a unique interactive experience
that may in fact become deeper than what the 2D Interface can and
have for now provided.