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The History of User Interface Design

The history of Fuji Xerox product design is the history of User Interface (UI) evolution.
By building on the philosophy behind the Xerox "Alto" workstation (developed by Xerox Palo Alto Research Center), which spread the significance of UI worldwide about 40 years ago, we have been pursuing "tools easy to use for customers" rather than just pursuing better appearance and style. Those efforts led to today's design method of "Human-centered Design," which is reflected in all Fuji Xerox hardware and software products.

Alto WorkStation

1973 -
The Birth of "Human-centered" UI

Based on "the eight principles of UI," the Alto workstation is considered "the origin of the PC." It employed icons, a mouse, multi windows and e-mail. The research and development method delved not only into "usability" but also "the way of use," thereby leading to today's Fuji Xerox development method that begins by questioning "what customers want" and then pursues "the true easy-to-use tools."


1982 -
Realization of Full-fledged GUI

The new Star workstation was developed by Xerox Corporation based on technology used for the Alto, and simultaneously released worldwide (with Fuji Xerox developing J-Star—the Japanese version of Star). Displaying various functions with GUI icons and allowing users to perform operations using a mouse, this innovative technology was acknowledged around the world and became the subsequent UI method for personal computers.

Fuji Xerox 5075

1989 -
The First GUI Introduced on Copy Machines

For the first time, CRT display was installed on office machines to simplify operations even when augmenting copy machines with more functions. It shows appropriate displays according to copy operations, requiring users to simply press buttons following a message. Though UI has become common today, we introduced it 20 years ago and significantly improved the UI usability to allow customers to easily perform complex copying operations.

DocuColor 4040

1995 -
Easy to Use for Professionals Seeking High-level of Operations

The DocuColor 4040 copy machine realized the world's fastest print speed at the time in high-quality, full-color printing at 40 pages per minute. It attracted attention by opening the way for the on-demand color printing market. For better usability, a color touch display was installed to simplify professional-level operations for customers, in order to reduce operational errors that could increase costs for customers.


1997 -
Usability to Handle Electronic Documents like Paper

"Paper" is convenient media for viewing, writing, revising, bundling or carrying. DocuWorks realizes the convenient features of paper on electronic displays. Pages from different information sources are displayed uniformly like paper and users can easily view the contents at a glance. We aimed to achieve direct and intuitive operations when users edit documents or proceed to the next task.

ApeosPort-IV C3370

2009 -
For Better Business Productivity and Quality

GUI was developed under the concept of "IT Friendly." In addition to enhancing the usability of a control panel that can be used to directly access Web, we also design GUI with which users can easily operate various functions. The color and shape representing "safe" and "new" visualize user expectations for high quality services.

The product names and years of release above are information for the Japanese market.

Eight Principles of UI at the Birth of Alto (in the early 1970s)

  1. Metaphorically Digitize the Desk Environment
  2. Operating on Display Instead of Entering on Keyboard
  3. What You See Is What You Get
  4. Universal but Fewer Commands
  5. Same Operation for the Same Job at Different Places
  6. Operating Computers as Easily as Possible
  7. No Need to Transfer to Different Jobs
  8. System Customized as Desired by Users

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