For decades, we've interacted with computers through a screen layout that mirrors an office desk, a design that simplified the complex world of technology. But now, as we stand on the brink of unprecedented technological advancements, we must question: Is this familiar way of interaction still serving us, or is it time for a radical change? This Bachelor thesis embarks on a speculative design journey to reimagine operating system interaction. At its heart is the development of an AI-supported operating system designed to revolutionize information and task management. This system departs from conventional document and app-based organization, instead adopting a process and task-oriented approach. The vision is to create an interface that aligns with the dynamic nature of modern digital tasks, offering a more intuitive and efficient user experience. Currently, the project is in progress, representing a bold step towards redefining the future of human-computer interaction.


Computers, integral to modern life, span diverse roles from communication to creativity. Central to this is the user-friendly Desktop Metaphor, conceptualized in 1970 and popularized by the Apple Macintosh in 1984. This metaphor, transforming monitors into digital desks with familiar elements like folders, initially simplified the transition to digital workspaces. However, as users become more tech-savvy, this metaphor's limitations emerge, potentially impeding more innovative interactions. The evolution of technologies like AI and VR invites a reimagining of interfaces beyond this traditional metaphor, aiming for more personalized, efficient user interactions that transcend mere replicating physical spaces.

Key Insights

In the "Discover" phase of the Triple Diamond Model, the combination of research clusters and targeted research questions is essential for a structured and efficient research process. These clusters segment a complex field, intersecting areas like HCI, AI, Information Science, Software Engineering, and Psychology, into manageable parts. Specific research questions within these clusters direct the focus, filtering out irrelevant information and highlighting key aspects. This approach not only structures the research process but also ensures that every activity is goal-oriented, crucial for navigating the complexities of the research field and laying a solid foundation for the subsequent "Define" and "Develop" phases.

Main Idea

PhAI is an AI-supported operating system designed to revolutionize how you manage information and tasks. It departs from traditional document and app-based organization, instead focusing on process and task orientation. As a central hub for your to-dos and organizational tasks, PhAI uses advanced AI to neatly organize your data, allowing you to concentrate on the task rather than getting lost in a myriad of thoughts. You can optimise your time usage with AI-driven timeboxing and efficient task management. PhAI stands out as a more personal operating system, due to the AI learning your ways of interacting with the system, making it adapt to you instead of the other way around. PhAI offers separate workspaces to ensure a peaceful transition from work to personal life. It enables you to communicate with your system how you like, spoken word, written text, or simple clicks.


You made it this far? Wow, thank you so much for reading all this research deep dive. Meet me for a coffee, if you want to know more about the current state of the project!