So this is officially the first post of 2012!
The story of Sunshine is centered around a group of scientists, set in a spaceship heading towards the sun. What’s great is that this scenario has been carefully considered in the UI design. Since the interfaces have such a specific audience, who are highly intelligent experts in their fields, the UI elements have been designed to feel unashamedly technical and scientific. There are no unnecessary embellishments and if anything the designs have been pared back to a style that’s similar to a technical manual. This makes every screen and every interface feel like it has a practical use and makes the story more believable.
In some way, it kind of reminds me of The Matrix, where the characters would read and make sense of plain screens filled with lines of code. Whereas with Sunshine all the screens are written in a language that scientists and mathematicians understand ie. diagrams, graphs, technical readouts and infographics that collate huge amounts of data.
It’s not the prettiest example, but I don’t think it’s meant to be. The UI design in films are meant to enhance the story and I think Sunshine has done this successfully.