The notion of the semantic web and semantic technologies, in general, is an abstraction. It’s about coordinating layers of data to arrive a combinations that provide new, valuable insight to people. And programmers and engineers love abstraction. It’s not surprising, then, that to date nearly all of the research and development in semantic technologies sits squarely with engineering and technical efforts. Fine. There’s a lot the figure out.
But how do semantic capabilities get consumed? The answer to this question is not at all straightforward. There are many unsolved challenges in designer the optimal user experience.
Andraz Tori shares these and other thoughts in a presentation on Slide Share: Semantic web user interfaces: Do they have to be ugly? The presentation includes good examples to a range of semantic UIs.
Until serious R&D-type effort is devoted to the experiential side of semantic technologies, they will remain little more than a very expensive parlor trick. I blogged about this about a month ago as well.