So, what would you call as a main difference between non-WIMP and ubiquitous computing? I know that non-WIMP is seen as interface seen after WIMP, kinda as a revolution of user interface, and that main idea of ubiquitous computing is to get to something Mark Weiser called "calm technology". Can we say that non-WIMP end goal is to get to be called ubiquitous?

2 Answers 2


Well, non-WIMP really has no particular meaning. If you call non-WIMP anything that is different to WIMP, then the scenario is incredibly broad. As I told you in another answer, WIMP is a very old term and it fell into disuse decades ago. Maybe that's where the confusion lies, because WIMP is what now we call GUI (thus, non-GUI could be a text interface, a non digital interface or whatever).

Going into ubiquitous computing or ubicom, it has absolutely nothing to do with GUI, WIMP or any kind of particular interface representation. Instead, it's a model or concept.

Of course, on user's end, ubicom uses GUI most of the times, but it doesn't mean that it's necessary, or that this user (or actor, if you want to use UML models) is the only user.

An easy example: let's say you have an ubicom app that uses Google maps (an ubicom app by itself). The system will show you a GUI (or WIMP as you call it). But the backend might be used by a Sys-Admin using a console. One of them will use a GUI, one of them will use a TUI (Text-based user interface), the ubiquitous computing model is the same for both users

As for the calm technology part, it's correct that it's related to ubicom. However, while calm technology needs ubicom, ubicom does't necessarily require calm technology

  • 1
    interesting answer! Do you know any good sources on this conversation (books, etc...)
    – Mike M
    Apr 29, 2019 at 14:31

The problem with "non-WIMP" as term for user interfaces is best explained by analogy. Nobody talks about "non-elephant animals". That is simply a class which is philosophically well defined, but lacks biological meaning. Similarly, it's reasonably simple to say whether a particular User Interface is WIMP or non-WIMP, but it's not very helpful.

Hence, all your attempts to ascribe attributes to "non-WIMP" fail as the category is far too broad.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.