Chapter 6


  • 6.1 Introduction
  • 6.2 Interface Types
  • 6.3 Natural User Interfaces
  • 6.4 Which Interface?


The main aims of this chapter are to:

  • Provide an overview of the many different kinds of interfaces.
  • Highlight the main design and research issues for each of the interfaces.
  • Discuss the difference between graphical (GUIs) and natural user interfaces (NUIs).
  • Consider which interface is best for a given application or activity.

6.1 Introduction

Until the mid-1990s, interaction designers concerned themselves largely with developing efficient and effective user interfaces for desktop computers aimed at the single user. This involved working out how best to present information on a screen such that users would be able to perform their tasks, including determining how to structure menus to make options easy to navigate, designing icons and other graphical elements to be easily recognized and distinguished from one another, and developing logical dialog boxes that are easy to fill in. Advances in graphical interfaces, speech, gesture and handwriting recognition, together with the arrival of the Internet, cell phones, wireless networks, sensor technologies, and an assortment of other new technologies providing large and small displays, have changed the face of human–computer interaction. During the last decade designers have had many more opportunities for designing user experiences. The range of technological developments has encouraged different ways of thinking ...

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