After my last post, I contacted MK12 to get more information about there design process. Luckily they got back to me, this was there response. I hope this will be helpful to any computer scientists who spend 30 seconds designing an interface. MK12 took 6 months and create a unified UI for a range of devices for MI5.   I wonder if QintetiQ have a process like this, as they are the guys designing military interfaces. 

Hi Ben

Thanks for the inquiry! Our apologies on how long it’s taken us to reply to your email. We’ve been inundated with the usual end-of-the-year-type things but are looking forward to a brand new new year, full of good and hope and change and all that.

As for your question- Yes, our interfaces were made from scratch. We initially started working and breaking apart the Mind Mapping concept. This felt immediately more interesting than more of a traditional tree-stem/hierarchy based info-set. We started thinking about Nodule-based software that we use for compositing purposes and started to apply that type of logic to our foundation.

We also knew that we wanted to unify every MI6 device so that it was all running from the same code source, with software variants based on the technical proficiency or need of each device. A spy agency of this stature would surly have an OS that was completely proprietary to them and them only. This OS would have several derivatives that could exist within the confines of a mobile phone, PDA, multi-touch screen, smart wall et. al.

Visually, each flavor of the Node-based OS would be similar in construction. A lot of the material that we were displaying is actually color coded so that there isn’t scores of text to read. All of these agents are moving fast, either at headquarters or in the field so a universal visual decoding felt necessary, rather than strictly text based information. Each color depicts some sort of information. White was usually the ROOT structure. Or red depicted location info. And Agents were assigned specific color codings.

We also thought, of course, MI6 would have some sort of AI based computing structure that would be able to think and suggest information as well as take and parse real time human input. This can be heavily seen in the searching for Dominic Greene in M’s office and the Opera information being processed in Tanner’s office and passed to M at her apartment.

We went through about six months of pre-production and design. We helped block out everything on set and created all of the GUI graphics in post. It’s pretty cool to see the tech work within the story of Quantum. It really propels the story at certain points. We’re pretty pleased. We managed to keep the devices pretty realistic and just a touch futuristic and proprietary looking enough to make it feel like it fits within the world of Bond Gadgets- We think Q would be proud…

We’d love to show you some sketches and early pre-production but we’re currently allowed to showcase any of the materials, by way of EON Productions. Check back for updates!

Thanks again for the interest and good luck with your endeavors into this field. Can’t wait to see the non-hollywood-post production versions of this tech in the near future!

The MK12.