Bionics is "the application of biological methods and systems found in nature to the study and design of engineering systems and modern technology."

What principles do we use in interaction and interface design that are drawn from biological systems and solutions?

A swarm is the only example I can think of.

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    Care to expand on your swarm example? Are you talking about social effort in interfaces (like Wikipedia)? – plainclothes May 18 '15 at 16:38
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    I should also point out that as a list or brainstorm type question this has a high chance of being closed. Try to think of a way to rephrase it to be more focused and answerable. – plainclothes May 18 '15 at 16:39

I'll kick this off. It may not survive on SE, but this is an interesting question to identify a new kind of heuristics.

Familiarity breeds solid principles

Much of UX and interaction design is connected to biological solutions because biology is familiar to our brain. Using solutions that require less adjustment makes things easier to learn, if not always of the greatest efficiency.

High-level biological parallels

  1. Visual hierarchy: A butterfly discourages birds with a highly pronounced eye-like pattern on the wings "staring" right back at the bird. Drawing attention to the key points is a matter of survival.
  2. Reaction: Things in nature respond when they are interacted with. If they don't, an organism will assume something is wrong or more forceful interaction is required.
  3. Communication: People and animals expect to be responded to. When they communicate with another organism of the same or similar type, they expect feedback.
  4. Color coding: Similar to point one, color in nature is used to provide cues (or tricks) about meaning and function. Bees and hornets are yellow and black and they hurt. Some flies use this pattern to communicate a lie, thus avoiding predators.
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