This past year, we brought you stories on everything from tweeting toddler toys and streamlined ATMs to news-reading apps and remote controls that magically change channels with a wave of the hand. Though wildly different from one another, these projects share a common denominator: They all display intriguing user-interface innovations.
User interfaces, when done well, are the unsung hero of product design. They’re the difference between a printer whose buttons you can figure out without even reading the instructions and one you want to throw across the room. Now, with the rise of personal computing, interfaces are more relevant than ever before, providing the crucial link between physical objects and the virtual world. Above, we’ve collected some of the year’s cleverest, clearest, and most creative UIs. Enjoy!