Software has multiple dimensions of elements and affordances, but the spatial dimension is underutilized most software outside of the gaming world.
Designer John Palmer wrote this piece on how different types of applications could harness spatial relationships to improve I’m thinking and interacting.
Messaging apps are stacks of bubbles. Video calls are faces inside static rectangles. There are only so many degrees of freedom for users inside of these apps, which makes them simple to use. But this simplicity also strips away so much of the freedom we have during in-person interactions. You can type any message, but typing a message is all you can do. You can call any person, but talking directly into your camera is all you can do once you’re connected. Without spatial interfaces, our current software doesn’t give us much expressive control.