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Firewall Interface of the Future?
For a non-technical user, configuring a firewall can sometimes be a daunting task. The usual solution employed by firewall vendors is to try to automate as much as possible. This works well for the majority of the time but some decisions still require user involvement and judgement. So what is then the best way of educating a user enough that she can make an informed decision?
A research group from PIXI lab at the Georgia Institute of Technology have a novel approach to the problem. At CHI 2008, the world's most influential usability conference, the group presented the result of their study and a prototype of their direct manipulation interface - Sesame.
Even though this is just a prototype, it is a very refreshing way of tackling a difficult interface design problem. It remains to be seen whether showing more or showing less of the behind the scenes work of the firewall is the way to go.