User interface
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industrial design Industrial design is a process of design applied to physical Product (business), products that are to be manufactured by mass production. It is the creative act of determining and defining a product's form and features, which takes place in advan ...
field of
human–computer interaction Human–computer interaction (HCI) is research in the design and the use of computer technology, which focuses on the interfaces between people ( users) and computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences ...
, a user interface (UI) is the space where interactions between humans and machines occur. The goal of this interaction is to allow effective operation and control of the machine from the human end, while the machine simultaneously feeds back information that aids the operators' decision-making process. Examples of this broad concept of user interfaces include the interactive aspects of computer
operating system An operating system (OS) is system software that manages computer hardware, software resources, and provides common daemon (computing), services for computer programs. Time-sharing operating systems scheduler (computing), schedule tasks for ef ...
s, hand
tools A tool is an object that can extend an individual's ability to modify features of the surrounding environment or help them accomplish a particular task. Although many animals use simple tools, only human beings, whose use of stone tools dates b ...
, heavy machinery operator controls and process controls. The design considerations applicable when creating user interfaces are related to, or involve such disciplines as, ergonomics and
psychology Psychology is the science, scientific study of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconscious mind, unconscious phenomena, including feelings and thoughts. It is an academic discipline of immens ...
. Generally, the goal of user interface design is to produce a user interface that makes it easy, efficient, and enjoyable (user-friendly) to operate a machine in the way which produces the desired result (i.e. maximum usability). This generally means that the operator needs to provide minimal input to achieve the desired output, and also that the machine minimizes undesired outputs to the user. User interfaces are composed of one or more layers, including a human-machine interface (HMI) that interfaces machines with physical input hardware such as keyboards, mice, or game pads, and output hardware such as
computer monitor A computer monitor is an output device that displays information in pictorial or textual form. A discrete monitor comprises a electronic visual display, visual display, support electronics, power supply, Housing (engineering), housing, electric ...
s, speakers, and printers. A device that implements an HMI is called a human interface device (HID). Other terms for human–machine interfaces are man–machine interface (MMI) and, when the machine in question is a computer, human–computer interface. Additional UI layers may interact with one or more human senses, including: tactile UI (
touch In physiology, the somatosensory system is the network of Nervous system, neural structures in the brain and body that produce the perception of touch (haptic perception), as well as temperature (thermoception), body position (proprioception), ...
), visual UI (
sight Visual perception is the ability to interpret the surrounding Biophysical environment, environment through photopic vision (daytime vision), color vision, scotopic vision (night vision), and mesopic vision (twilight vision), using light in the ...
), auditory UI (
sound In physics, sound is a vibration that propagates as an acoustic wave, through a transmission medium such as a gas, liquid or solid. In human physiology and psychology, sound is the ''reception'' of such waves and their ''perception'' by the ...
), olfactory UI ( smell), equilibria UI (
balance Balance or balancing may refer to: Common meanings * Balance (ability) in biomechanics * Balance (accounting) * Balance or weighing scale * Equality (mathematics), Balance as in equality or equilibrium Arts and entertainment Film * Balance (1983 ...
), and gustatory UI (
taste The gustatory system or sense of taste is the sensory system that is partially responsible for the perception of taste (flavor). Taste is the perception produced or stimulated when a substance in the mouth biochemistry, reacts chemically with ta ...
). Composite user interfaces (CUIs) are UIs that interact with two or more senses. The most common CUI is a ''
graphical user interface The GUI ( "UI" by itself is still usually pronounced . or ), graphical user interface, is a form of user interface that allows User (computing), users to Human–computer interaction, interact with electronic devices through graphical icon (comp ...
'' (GUI), which is composed of a tactile UI and a visual UI capable of displaying
graphics Graphics () are visual perception, visual images or designs on some surface, such as a wall, canvas, screen, paper, or stone, to inform, illustration, illustrate, or entertain. In contemporary usage, it includes a pictorial representation of dat ...
. When sound is added to a GUI, it becomes a ''multimedia user interface'' (MUI). There are three broad categories of CUI: ''standard'', ''virtual'' and ''augmented''. Standard CUI use standard human interface devices like keyboards, mice, and computer monitors. When the CUI blocks out the real world to create a
virtual reality Virtual reality (VR) is a Simulation, simulated experience that employs pose tracking and 3D near-eye displays to give the user an immersive feel of a virtual world. Applications of virtual reality include entertainment (particularly video g ...
, the CUI is virtual and uses a ''virtual reality interface''. When the CUI does not block out the real world and creates augmented reality, the CUI is augmented and uses an ''augmented reality interface''. When a UI interacts with all human senses, it is called a qualia interface, named after the theory of
qualia In philosophy of mind, qualia ( or ; singular form: quale) are defined as individual instances of Subjectivity, subjective, consciousness, conscious experience. The term ''qualia'' derives from the Latin neuter plural form (''qualia'') of the Lati ...
. CUI may also be classified by how many senses they interact with as either an X-sense virtual reality interface or X-sense augmented reality interface, where X is the number of senses interfaced with. For example, a Smell-O-Vision is a 3-sense (3S) Standard CUI with visual display, sound and smells; when ''virtual reality interfaces'' interface with smells and touch it is said to be a 4-sense (4S) virtual reality interface; and when ''augmented reality interfaces'' interface with smells and touch it is said to be a 4-sense (4S) augmented reality interface.


Overview

The user interface or ''human–machine interface'' is the part of the machine that handles the human–machine interaction. Membrane switches, rubber keypads and touchscreens are examples of the physical part of the Human Machine Interface which we can see and touch. In complex systems, the human–machine interface is typically computerized. The term ''human–computer interface'' refers to this kind of system. In the context of computing, the term typically extends as well to the software dedicated to control the physical elements used for
human–computer interaction Human–computer interaction (HCI) is research in the design and the use of computer technology, which focuses on the interfaces between people ( users) and computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences ...
. The engineering of human–machine interfaces is enhanced by considering ergonomics ( human factors). The corresponding disciplines are human factors engineering (HFE) and usability engineering (UE) which is part of
systems engineering Systems engineering is an interdisciplinary field of engineering and engineering management that focuses on how to design, integrate, and manage complex systems over their enterprise life cycle, life cycles. At its core, systems engineering util ...
. Tools used for incorporating human factors in the interface design are developed based on knowledge of
computer science Computer science is the study of computation, automation, and information. Computer science spans theoretical disciplines (such as algorithms, theory of computation, information theory, and automation) to Applied science, practical discipli ...
, such as
computer graphics Computer graphics deals with generating images with the aid of computers. Today, computer graphics is a core technology in digital photography, film, video games, cell phone and computer displays, and many specialized applications. A great deal ...
, operating systems,
programming language A programming language is a system of notation for writing computer program, computer programs. Most programming languages are text-based formal languages, but they may also be visual programming language, graphical. They are a kind of computer ...
s. Nowadays, we use the expression
graphical user interface The GUI ( "UI" by itself is still usually pronounced . or ), graphical user interface, is a form of user interface that allows User (computing), users to Human–computer interaction, interact with electronic devices through graphical icon (comp ...
for human–machine interface on computers, as nearly all of them are now using graphics. Multimodal interfaces allow users to interact using more than one modality of user input.


Terminology

There is a difference between a user interface and an operator interface or a human–machine interface (HMI). * The term "user interface" is often used in the context of (personal) computer systems and electronic devices. ** Where a network of equipment or computers are interlinked through an MES (Manufacturing Execution System)-or Host to display information. ** A human–machine interface (HMI) is typically local to one machine or piece of equipment, and is the interface method between the human and the equipment/machine. An operator interface is the interface method by which multiple pieces of equipment, linked by a host control system, are accessed or controlled. ** The system may expose several user interfaces to serve different kinds of users. For example, a computerized library database might provide two user interfaces, one for library patrons (limited set of functions, optimized for ease of use) and the other for library personnel (wide set of functions, optimized for efficiency). * The user interface of a mechanical system, a vehicle or an industrial installation is sometimes referred to as the human–machine interface (HMI). HMI is a modification of the original term MMI (man–machine interface). In practice, the abbreviation MMI is still frequently used although some may claim that MMI stands for something different now. Another abbreviation is HCI, but is more commonly used for
human–computer interaction Human–computer interaction (HCI) is research in the design and the use of computer technology, which focuses on the interfaces between people ( users) and computer A computer is a machine that can be programmed to carry out sequences ...
. Other terms used are operator interface console (OIC) and operator interface terminal (OIT). However it is abbreviated, the terms refer to the 'layer' that separates a human that is operating a machine from the machine itself. Without a clean and usable interface, humans would not be able to interact with information systems. In
science fiction Science fiction (sometimes shortened to Sci-Fi or SF) is a genre of speculative fiction which typically deals with imagination, imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, Paral ...
, HMI is sometimes used to refer to what is better described as a direct neural interface. However, this latter usage is seeing increasing application in the real-life use of (medical) prostheses—the artificial extension that replaces a missing body part (e.g., cochlear implants). In some circumstances, computers might observe the user and react according to their actions without specific commands. A means of tracking parts of the body is required, and sensors noting the position of the head, direction of gaze and so on have been used experimentally. This is particularly relevant to immersive interfaces.


History

The history of user interfaces can be divided into the following phases according to the dominant type of user interface:


1945–1968: Batch interface

In the batch era, computing power was extremely scarce and expensive. User interfaces were rudimentary. Users had to accommodate computers rather than the other way around; user interfaces were considered overhead, and software was designed to keep the processor at maximum utilization with as little overhead as possible. The input side of the user interfaces for batch machines was mainly
punched card A punched card (also punch card or punched-card) is a piece of stiff paper that holds digital data represented by the presence or absence of holes in predefined positions. Punched cards were once common in data processing applications or to di ...
s or equivalent media like
paper tape file:PaperTapes-5and8Hole.jpg, Five- and eight-hole punched paper tape file:Harwell-dekatron-witch-10.jpg, Paper tape reader on the Harwell computer with a small piece of five-hole tape connected in a circle – creating a physical program loop ...
. The output side added line printers to these media. With the limited exception of the system operator's console, human beings did not interact with batch machines in real time at all. Submitting a job to a batch machine involved, first, preparing a deck of punched cards describing a program and a dataset. Punching the program cards wasn't done on the computer itself, but on keypunches, specialized typewriter-like machines that were notoriously bulky, unforgiving, and prone to mechanical failure. The software interface was similarly unforgiving, with very strict syntaxes meant to be parsed by the smallest possible compilers and interpreters. Once the cards were punched, one would drop them in a job queue and wait. Eventually, operators would feed the deck to the computer, perhaps mounting magnetic tapes to supply another dataset or helper software. The job would generate a printout, containing final results or an abort notice with an attached error log. Successful runs might also write a result on magnetic tape or generate some data cards to be used in a later computation. The turnaround time for a single job often spanned entire days. If one was very lucky, it might be hours; there was no real-time response. But there were worse fates than the card queue; some computers required an even more tedious and error-prone process of toggling in programs in binary code using console switches. The very earliest machines had to be partly rewired to incorporate program logic into themselves, using devices known as plugboards. Early batch systems gave the currently running job the entire computer; program decks and tapes had to include what we would now think of as
operating system An operating system (OS) is system software that manages computer hardware, software resources, and provides common daemon (computing), services for computer programs. Time-sharing operating systems scheduler (computing), schedule tasks for ef ...
code to talk to I/O devices and do whatever other housekeeping was needed. Midway through the batch period, after 1957, various groups began to experiment with so-called " load-and-go" systems. These used a monitor program which was always resident on the computer. Programs could call the monitor for services. Another function of the monitor was to do better error checking on submitted jobs, catching errors earlier and more intelligently and generating more useful feedback to the users. Thus, monitors represented the first step towards both operating systems and explicitly designed user interfaces.


1969–present: Command-line user interface

Command-line interfaces (CLIs) evolved from batch monitors connected to the system console. Their interaction model was a series of request-response transactions, with requests expressed as textual commands in a specialized vocabulary. Latency was far lower than for batch systems, dropping from days or hours to seconds. Accordingly, command-line systems allowed the user to change his or her mind about later stages of the transaction in response to real-time or near-real-time feedback on earlier results. Software could be exploratory and interactive in ways not possible before. But these interfaces still placed a relatively heavy
mnemonic A mnemonic ( ) device, or memory device, is any learning technique that aids information retention or retrieval (remembering) in the human memory for better understanding. Mnemonics make use of elaborative encoding, retrieval cues, and imagery ...
load on the user, requiring a serious investment of effort and learning time to master. The earliest command-line systems combined
teleprinter A teleprinter (teletypewriter, teletype or TTY) is an electromechanical device that can be used to send and receive typed messages through various communications channels, in both point-to-point (telecommunications), point-to-point and point- ...
s with computers, adapting a mature technology that had proven effective for mediating the transfer of information over wires between human beings. Teleprinters had originally been invented as devices for automatic telegraph transmission and reception; they had a history going back to 1902 and had already become well-established in newsrooms and elsewhere by 1920. In reusing them, economy was certainly a consideration, but psychology and the Rule of Least Surprise mattered as well; teleprinters provided a point of interface with the system that was familiar to many engineers and users. The widespread adoption of video-display terminals (VDTs) in the mid-1970s ushered in the second phase of command-line systems. These cut latency further, because characters could be thrown on the phosphor dots of a screen more quickly than a printer head or carriage can move. They helped quell conservative resistance to interactive programming by cutting ink and paper consumables out of the cost picture, and were to the first TV generation of the late 1950s and 60s even more iconic and comfortable than teleprinters had been to the computer pioneers of the 1940s. Just as importantly, the existence of an accessible screen — a two-dimensional display of text that could be rapidly and reversibly modified — made it economical for software designers to deploy interfaces that could be described as visual rather than textual. The pioneering applications of this kind were computer games and text editors; close descendants of some of the earliest specimens, such as rogue(6), and vi(1), are still a live part of
Unix Unix (; trademarked as UNIX) is a family of Computer multitasking, multitasking, multiuser computer operating systems that derive from the original AT&T Corporation, AT&T Unix, whose development started in 1969 at the Bell Labs research center ...
tradition.


1985: SAA User Interface or Text-Based User Interface

In 1985, with the beginning of
Microsoft Windows Windows is a group of several proprietary graphical operating system families developed and marketed by Microsoft Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational corporation, multinational technology company, technology corporatio ...
and other
graphical user interface The GUI ( "UI" by itself is still usually pronounced . or ), graphical user interface, is a form of user interface that allows User (computing), users to Human–computer interaction, interact with electronic devices through graphical icon (comp ...
s, IBM created what is called the Systems Application Architecture (SAA) standard which include the Common User Access (CUA) derivative. CUA successfully created what we know and use today in Windows, and most of the more recent DOS or Windows Console Applications will use that standard as well. This defined that a pulldown menu system should be at the top of the screen, status bar at the bottom, shortcut keys should stay the same for all common functionality (F2 to Open for example would work in all applications that followed the SAA standard). This greatly helped the speed at which users could learn an application so it caught on quick and became an industry standard.


1968–present: Graphical User Interface

* 1968 – Douglas Engelbart demonstrated NLS, a system which uses a
mouse A mouse (plural, : mice) is a small rodent. Characteristically, mice are known to have a pointed snout, small rounded ears, a body-length scaly tail, and a high breeding rate. The best known mouse species is the common house mouse (''Mus mus ...
, pointers,
hypertext Hypertext is text displayed on a computer display or other electronic devices with references ( hyperlinks) to other text that the reader can immediately access. Hypertext documents are interconnected by hyperlinks, which are typicall ...
, and multiple
windows Windows is a group of several Proprietary software, proprietary graphical user interface, graphical operating system families developed and marketed by Microsoft. Each family caters to a certain sector of the computing industry. For example, W ...
. * 1970 – Researchers at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (many from SRI) develop WIMP paradigm (Windows, Icons, Menus, Pointers) * 1973 –
Xerox Alto The Xerox Alto is a computer designed from its inception to support an operating system An operating system (OS) is system software that manages computer hardware, software resources, and provides common daemon (computing), services for comp ...
: commercial failure due to expense, poor user interface, and lack of programs * 1979 –
Steve Jobs Steven Paul Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) was an American Entrepreneurship, entrepreneur, industrial designer, media proprietor, and investor. He was the co-founder, chairman, and chief executive officer, CEO of Apple Inc., Appl ...
and other
Apple An apple is an edible fruit produced by an apple tree (''Malus domestica''). Apple fruit tree, trees are agriculture, cultivated worldwide and are the most widely grown species in the genus ''Malus''. The tree originated in Central Asia, wh ...
engineers visit Xerox PARC. Though Pirates of Silicon Valley dramatizes the events, Apple had already been working on developing a GUI, such as the Macintosh and Lisa projects, before the visit. * 1981 –
Xerox Star The Xerox Star workstation, officially named Xerox 8010 Information System, is the first commercial personal computer to incorporate technologies that have since become standard in personal computers, including a bitmapped display, a window-bas ...
: focus on
WYSIWYG In computing, WYSIWYG ( ), an acronym for What You See Is What You Get, is a system in which editing software allows content to be edited in a form that resembles its appearance when printed or displayed as a finished product, such as a printed d ...
. Commercial failure (25K sold) due to cost ($16K each), performance (minutes to save a file, couple of hours to recover from crash), and poor marketing * 1982 –
Rob Pike Robert "Rob" Pike (born 1956) is a Canadian programmer and author. He is best known for his work on the Go (programming language), Go programming language and at Bell Labs, where he was a member of the Unix team and was involved in the creation o ...
and others at
Bell Labs Nokia Bell Labs, originally named Bell Telephone Laboratories (1925–1984), then AT&T Bell Laboratories (1984–1996) and Bell Labs Innovations (1996–2007), is an American industrial research and scientific development company A com ...
designed Blit, which was released in 1984 by AT&T and
Teletype A teleprinter (teletypewriter, teletype or TTY) is an electromechanical device that can be used to send and receive typed messages through various communications channels, in both point-to-point (telecommunications), point-to-point and point- ...
as DMD 5620 terminal. * 1984 – Apple
Macintosh The Mac (known as Macintosh until 1999) is a family of personal computers designed and marketed by Apple Inc., Apple Inc. Macs are known for their ease of use and minimalist designs, and are popular among students, creative professionals, and ...
popularizes the GUI. Super Bowl commercial shown twice, was the most expensive commercial ever made at that time * 1984 – MIT's
X Window System The X Window System (X11, or simply X) is a windowing system for bitmap displays, common on Unix-like operating systems. X provides the basic framework for a GUI environment: drawing and moving windows on the display device and interacting wit ...
: hardware-independent platform and networking protocol for developing GUIs on UNIX-like systems * 1985 – Windows 1.0 – provided GUI interface to MS-DOS. No overlapping windows (tiled instead). * 1985 – Microsoft and IBM start work on OS/2 meant to eventually replace MS-DOS and Windows * 1986 – Apple threatens to sue
Digital Research Digital Research, Inc. (DR or DRI) was a company created by Gary Kildall to market and develop his CP/M operating system and related 8-bit, 16-bit and 32-bit systems like MP/M, Concurrent DOS, FlexOS, Multiuser DOS, DOS Plus, DR DOS and Gr ...
because their GUI desktop looked too much like Apple's Mac. * 1987 – Windows 2.0 – Overlapping and resizable windows, keyboard and mouse enhancements * 1987 – Macintosh II: first full-color Mac * 1988 –
OS/2 OS/2 (Operating System/2) is a series of computer operating systems, initially created by Microsoft and IBM under the leadership of IBM software designer Ed Iacobucci. As a result of a feud between the two companies over how to position OS/2 re ...
1.10 Standard Edition (SE) has GUI written by Microsoft, looks a lot like Windows 2


Interface design

Primary methods used in the interface design include prototyping and simulation. Typical human–machine interface design consists of the following stages: interaction specification, interface software specification and prototyping: * Common practices for interaction specification include
user-centered design User-centered design (UCD) or user-driven development (UDD) is a framework of process (not restricted to interfaces or technologies) in which usability goals, user characteristics, Environment (systems), environment, tasks and workflow of a pro ...
,
persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, is the public image of one's personality, the social role that one adopts, or simply a fictional character. The word derives from Latin, where it originally referred to a thea ...
, activity-oriented design, scenario-based design, and resiliency design. * Common practices for interface software specification include use cases and constrain enforcement by interaction protocols (intended to avoid use errors). * Common practices for prototyping are based on libraries of interface elements (controls, decoration, etc.).


Principles of quality

In broad terms, interfaces generally regarded as user friendly, efficient, intuitive, etc. are typified by one or more particular qualities. For the purpose of example, a non-exhaustive list of such characteristics follows: # Clarity: The interface avoids ambiguity by making everything clear through language, flow, hierarchy and metaphors for visual elements. # Concision: However ironically, the over-clarification of information—for instance, by labelling the majority, if not the entirety, of items displayed on-screen at once, and regardless of whether or not the user would in fact require a visual indicator of some kind in order to identify a given item—can, and, under most normal circumstances, most likely will lead to the obfuscation of whatever information. # Familiarity: Even if someone uses an interface for the first time, certain elements can still be familiar. Real-life metaphors can be used to communicate meaning. # Responsiveness: A good interface should not feel sluggish. This means that the interface should provide good feedback to the user about what's happening and whether the user's input is being successfully processed. # Consistency: Keeping your interface consistent across your application is important because it allows users to recognize usage patterns. #
Aesthetics Aesthetics, or esthetics, is a branch of philosophy that deals with the nature of beauty and taste (sociology), taste, as well as the philosophy of art (its own area of philosophy that comes out of aesthetics). It examines aesthetic values, ...
: While you don't need to make an interface attractive for it to do its job, making something look good will make the time your users spend using your application more enjoyable; and happier users can only be a good thing. #
Efficiency Efficiency is the often measurable ability to avoid wasting materials, energy, efforts, money, and time in doing something or in producing a desired result. In a more general sense, it is the ability to do things well, successfully, and without ...
: Time is money, and a great interface should make the user more productive through shortcuts and good design. #
Forgiveness Forgiveness, in a psychology, psychological sense, is the intentional and voluntary process by which one who may initially feel victimized or wronged, goes through a change in feelings and attitude regarding a given offender, and overcomes the ...
: A good interface should not punish users for their mistakes but should instead provide the means to remedy them.


Principle of least astonishment

The principle of least astonishment (POLA) is a general principle in the design of all kinds of interfaces. It is based on the idea that human beings can only pay full attention to one thing at one time, leading to the conclusion that novelty should be minimized.


Principle of habit formation

If an interface is used persistently, the user will unavoidably develop habits for using the interface. The designer's role can thus be characterized as ensuring the user forms good habits. If the designer is experienced with other interfaces, they will similarly develop habits, and often make unconscious assumptions regarding how the user will interact with the interface.


A model of design criteria: User Experience Honeycomb

Peter Morville of
Google Google LLC () is an American Multinational corporation, multinational technology company focusing on Search Engine, search engine technology, online advertising, cloud computing, software, computer software, quantum computing, e-commerce, ar ...
designed the User Experience Honeycomb framework in 2004 when leading operations in user interface design. The framework was created to guide user interface design. It would act as a guideline for many web development students for a decade. # Usable: Is the design of the system easy and simple to use? The application should feel familiar, and it should be easy to use. # Useful: Does the application fulfill a need? A business's product or service needs to be useful. # Desirable: Is the design of the application sleek and to the point? The aesthetics of the system should be attractive, and easy to translate. # Findable: Are users able to quickly find the information they're looking for? Information needs to be findable and simple to navigate. A user should never have to hunt for your product or information. #
Accessible Accessibility is the design of products, devices, services, vehicles, or environments so as to be usable by people with disabilities. The concept of accessible design and practice of accessible development ensures both "direct access" (i.e ...
: Does the application support enlarged text without breaking the framework? An application should be accessible to those with disabilities. # Credible: Does the application exhibit trustworthy security and company details? An application should be transparent, secure, and honest. # Valuable: Does the end-user think it's valuable? If all 6 criteria are met, the end-user will find value and trust in the application.


Types

# '' Attentive user interfaces'' manage the user
attention Attention is the behavioral and cognitive process of selectively concentrating on a discrete aspect of information, whether considered subjective or objective, while ignoring other perceivable information. William James (1890) wrote that "A ...
deciding when to interrupt the user, the kind of warnings, and the level of detail of the messages presented to the user. # ''Batch interfaces'' are non-interactive user interfaces, where the user specifies all the details of the ''batch job'' in advance to
batch processing Computerized batch processing is a method of running software programs called jobs in batches automatically. While users are required to submit the jobs, no other interaction by the user is required to process the batch. Batches may automatically ...
, and receives the output when all the processing is done. The computer does not prompt for further input after the processing has started. # '' Command line interfaces'' (CLIs) prompt the user to provide input by typing a command string with the computer keyboard and respond by outputting text to the computer monitor. Used by programmers and system administrators, in engineering and scientific environments, and by technically advanced personal computer users. # '' Conversational interfaces'' enable users to command the computer with plain text English (e.g., via text messages, or chatbots) or voice commands, instead of graphic elements. These interfaces often emulate human-to-human conversations. # ''Conversational interface agents'' attempt to personify the computer interface in the form of an animated person, robot, or other character (such as Microsoft's Clippy the paperclip), and present interactions in a conversational form. # '' Crossing-based interfaces'' are graphical user interfaces in which the primary task consists in crossing boundaries instead of pointing. # '' Direct manipulation interface'' is the name of a general class of user interfaces that allow users to manipulate objects presented to them, using actions that correspond at least loosely to the physical world. # '' Gesture interfaces'' are graphical user interfaces which accept input in a form of hand
gesture A gesture is a form of non-verbal communication or non-vocal communication in which visible bodily actions communicate particular messages, either in place of, or in conjunction with, speech. Gestures include movement of the hands, face, or ot ...
s, or mouse gestures sketched with a computer mouse or a
stylus A stylus (plural styli or styluses) is a writing utensil or a small tool for some other form of marking or shaping, for example, in pottery. It can also be a computer accessory that is used to assist in navigating or providing more Accuracy an ...
. # ''
Graphical user interface The GUI ( "UI" by itself is still usually pronounced . or ), graphical user interface, is a form of user interface that allows User (computing), users to Human–computer interaction, interact with electronic devices through graphical icon (comp ...
s'' (GUI) accept input via devices such as a computer keyboard and mouse and provide articulated graphical output on the
computer monitor A computer monitor is an output device that displays information in pictorial or textual form. A discrete monitor comprises a electronic visual display, visual display, support electronics, power supply, Housing (engineering), housing, electric ...
. There are at least two different principles widely used in GUI design: Object-oriented user interfaces (OOUIs) and application-oriented interfaces. # ''Hardware interfaces'' are the physical, spatial interfaces found on products in the real world from toasters, to car dashboards, to airplane cockpits. They are generally a mixture of knobs, buttons, sliders, switches, and touchscreens. # ' provide input to electronic or electro-mechanical devices by passing a finger through reproduced holographic images of what would otherwise be tactile controls of those devices, floating freely in the air, detected by a wave source and without tactile interaction. # '' Intelligent user interfaces'' are human–machine interfaces that aim to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and naturalness of human–machine interaction by representing, reasoning, and acting on models of the user, domain, task, discourse, and media (e.g., graphics, natural language, gesture). # '' Motion tracking interfaces'' monitor the user's body motions and translate them into commands, currently being developed by Apple. # ''Multi-screen interfaces'', employ multiple displays to provide a more flexible interaction. This is often employed in computer game interaction in both the commercial arcades and more recently the handheld markets. # '' Natural-language interfaces'' are used for search engines and on webpages. User types in a question and waits for a response. # ''Non-command user interfaces'', which observe the user to infer their needs and intentions, without requiring that they formulate explicit commands. # '' Object-oriented user interfaces (OOUI)'' are based on
object-oriented programming Object-oriented programming (OOP) is a programming paradigm based on the concept of " objects", which can contain data In the pursuit of knowledge, data (; ) is a collection of discrete values that convey information, describing qua ...
metaphors, allowing users to manipulate simulated objects and their properties. # ''Permission-driven user interfaces'' show or conceal menu options or functions depending on the user's level of permissions. The system is intended to improve the user experience by removing items that are unavailable to the user. A user who sees functions that are unavailable for use may become frustrated. It also provides an enhancement to security by hiding functional items from unauthorized persons. # ''Reflexive user interfaces'' where the users control and redefine the entire system via the user interface alone, for instance to change its command verbs. Typically, this is only possible with very rich graphic user interfaces. # ''Search interface'' is how the search box of a site is displayed, as well as the visual representation of the search results. # '' Tangible user interfaces'', which place a greater emphasis on touch and physical environment or its element. # '' Task-focused interfaces'' are user interfaces which address the
information overload Information overload (also known as infobesity, infoxication, information anxiety, and information explosion) is the difficulty in understanding an issue and Decision making, effectively making decisions when one has too much information (TMI) ab ...
problem of the
desktop metaphor In computing, the desktop metaphor is an interface metaphor which is a set of unifying concepts used by graphical user interfaces to help users interact more easily with the computer. The desktop metaphor treats the computer monitor as if it is t ...
by making tasks, not files, the primary unit of interaction. # ''
Text-based user interface In computing, text-based user interfaces (TUI) (alternately terminal user interfaces, to reflect a dependence upon the properties of computer terminals and not just text), is a retronym describing a type of user interface (UI) common as an ear ...
s'' (TUIs) are user interfaces which interact via text. TUIs include
command-line interface A command-line interpreter or command-line processor uses a command-line interface (CLI) to receive command (computing), commands from a user in the form of lines of text. This provides a means of setting parameters for the environment, invokin ...
s and text-based WIMP environments. # ''
Touchscreen A touchscreen or touch screen is the assembly of both an input ('touch panel') and output ('display') device. The touch panel is normally layered on the top of an electronic visual display of an information processing system. The display is ofte ...
s'' are displays that accept input by touch of fingers or a
stylus A stylus (plural styli or styluses) is a writing utensil or a small tool for some other form of marking or shaping, for example, in pottery. It can also be a computer accessory that is used to assist in navigating or providing more Accuracy an ...
. Used in a growing amount of
mobile device A mobile device (or handheld computer) is a computer small enough to hold and operate in the hand. Mobile devices typically have a flat LCD or OLED screen, a touchscreen interface, and digital or physical buttons. They may also have a physical k ...
s and many types of
point of sale The point of sale (POS) or point of purchase (POP) is the time and place at which a retail transaction is completed. At the point of sale, the merchant calculates the amount owed by the customer, indicates that amount, may prepare an invoice f ...
, industrial processes and machines, self-service machines, etc. # ''
Touch user interface A touch user interface (TUI) is a computer-pointing technology based upon the sense of touch (Haptic perception, haptics). Whereas a graphical user interface (GUI) relies upon the sense of visual perception, sight, a TUI enables not only the sense ...
'' are graphical user interfaces using a
touchpad A touchpad or trackpad is a pointing device featuring a tactile sensor, a specialized surface that can translate the motion and position of a user's fingers to a relative position on the operating system that is made output to the screen. Touchp ...
or touchscreen display as a combined input and output device. They supplement or replace other forms of output with haptic feedback methods. Used in computerized simulators, etc. # ''
Voice user interface A voice-user interface (VUI) makes spoken human interaction with computers possible, using speech recognition Speech recognition is an interdisciplinary subfield of computer science and computational linguistics that develops Methodology, meth ...
s'', which accept input and provide output by generating voice prompts. The user input is made by pressing keys or buttons, or responding verbally to the interface. # '' Web-based user interfaces'' or ''web user interfaces'' (WUI) that accept input and provide output by generating web pages viewed by the user using a
web browser A web browser is application software for accessing websites. When a User (computing), user requests a web page from a particular website, the browser retrieves its Computer file, files from a web server and then displays the page on the user' ...
program. # ''Zero-input interfaces'' get inputs from a set of sensors instead of querying the user with input dialogs.Sharon, Taly, Henry Lieberman, and Ted Selker.
A zero-input interface for leveraging group experience in web browsing
." Proceedings of the 8th international conference on Intelligent user interfaces. ACM, 2003.
# ''
Zooming user interface In computing, a zooming user interface or zoomable user interface (ZUI, pronounced zoo-ee) is a Graphical user interface, graphical environment where End-user (computer science), users can change the scale of the viewport, viewed area in order to ...
s'' are graphical user interfaces in which information objects are represented at different levels of scale and detail, and where the user can change the scale of the viewed area in order to show more detail.


Gallery

File:P8-führerstand2.jpg, Historic HMI in the driver's cabin of a German
steam locomotive A steam locomotive is a locomotive that provides the Tractive force#Rail vehicles, force to move itself and other vehicles by means of the expansion of steam. It is fuelled by burning combustible material (usually coal, Fuel oil, oil or, rar ...
File:Ice3 leitstand.jpg, Modern HMI in the driver's cabin of a German
Intercity-Express The Intercity Express (commonly known as ICE ()) is a system of high-speed trains predominantly running in Germany. It also serves some destinations in Austria, Denmark (ceased in 2017 but planned to resume in 2022), France, Belgium, Switzerl ...
High-Speed Train File:Wireless toilet control panel w. open lid.jpg, The HMI of a toilette (in Japan) File:Google Glass detail.jpg,
Voice user interface A voice-user interface (VUI) makes spoken human interaction with computers possible, using speech recognition Speech recognition is an interdisciplinary subfield of computer science and computational linguistics that develops Methodology, meth ...
of a
wearable computer A wearable computer, also known as a body-borne computer, is a computing device worn on the body. The definition of 'wearable computer' may be narrow or broad, extending to smartphones or even ordinary wristwatches. Wearables may be for general ...
(''here:
Google Glass Google Glass, or simply Glass, is a brand of smart glasses developed and sold by Google. It was developed by X (company), X (previously Google X), with the mission of producing an ubiquitous computing, ubiquitous computer. Google Glass displays ...
'') File:Engineer at audio console at Danish Broadcasting Corporation.png, HMI for audio mixing File:Mesa de vídeo 1.JPG, HMI for
video production Video production is the process of producing video content for video. It is the equivalent of filmmaking, but with video recorded either as analog signals on videotape, digitally in video tape or as computer files stored on optical discs, hard dri ...
File:00-bma-automation-operator-panel-with-pushbuttons.JPG, HMI of a machine for the sugar industry with pushbuttons File:CNC panel Sinumerik.jpg, HMI for a
Computer numerical control Numerical control (also computer numerical control, and commonly called CNC) is the automated control of machining Machining is a process in which a material (often metal) is cut to a desired final shape and size by a controlled material-rem ...
(CNC) File:CNC panel.jpg, slightly newer HMI for a CNC-machine File:Not-Aus Betätiger.jpg, emergency switch/panic switch File:Teletype_DMD_5620.jpg, DMD 5620 Terminal


See also

* Adaptive user interfaces * Brain–computer interface *
Computer user satisfaction Computer user satisfaction (and closely related concepts such as ''system satisfaction'', ''user satisfaction'', ''computer system satisfaction'', ''end user In product development, an end user (sometimes end-user) is a person who ultimately uses ...
*
Direct voice input Direct voice input (DVI), sometimes called voice input control (VIC), is a style of User interface, human–machine interaction "HMI" in which the user makes voice–user interface, voice commands to issue instructions to the machine through speech ...
* Distinguishable interfaces *
Ergonomics Human factors and ergonomics (commonly referred to as human factors) is the application of psychological and physiological principles to the engineering and design of products, processes, and systems. Four primary goals of human factors learnin ...
and human factors – the study of designing objects to be better adapted to the shape of the human body *
Flat design Flat design is a minimalism (computing), minimalist design language or design style commonly used in graphical user interfaces (GUI) (such as web applications and mobile apps), and also in graphical materials such as Poster, posters, arts, guide ...
* History of the GUI * Icon design *
Information architecture Information architecture (IA) is the structural design of shared information environments; the art and science of organizing and labelling websites, intranets, online communities and software to support usability and findability; and an emerging c ...
– organizing, naming, and labelling information structures *
Information visualization Information is an Abstraction, abstract concept that refers to that which has the power to Communication, inform. At the most fundamental level information pertains to the Interpretation (logic), interpretation of that which may be sensed. ...
– the use of sensory representations of abstract data to reinforce cognition *
Interaction design Interaction design, often abbreviated as IxD, is "the practice of designing interactive digital products, environments, systems, and services." Beyond the digital aspect, interaction design is also useful when creating physical (non-digital) produ ...
* Interaction technique * Kinetic user interface * Knowledge visualization – the use of visual representations to transfer knowledge * Natural user interfaces * Organic user interface * Post-WIMP * Tangible user interface * Unified Code for Units of Measure * Usability links * User assistance * User experience * User experience design *
User interface design User interface (UI) design or user interface engineering is the design of user interfaces for machines and software, such as computers, home appliances, mobile devices, and other electronics, electronic devices, with the focus on maximizing usabi ...
* User interface specification * Useware * Virtual artifact * Virtual user interface


References


External links


Conferences
covers a wide area of user interface publications

{{DEFAULTSORT:User Interface User interface techniques Virtual reality Human communication Human–machine interaction