An Essay On User Interface Design Computer Science Essay

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User interface design is basically the way of designing by which user can interact with different devices and machines. An effective software interface can improve user productivity and satisfaction and reduce errors. But their designing is often difficult and time-consuming. Good user interface design facilitates finishing the task at hand without paying unnecessary attention to it.

As we know , The design of a user interface affects the amount of effort the user must expend to provide input for the system and to take the output of the system, and how much effort it takes to gain how to do this task . Under this we use the term  Usability , which is the degree to which the design of a particular user interface takes into account the human physiology of the users, and makes the process of using the system more effective, efficient and satisfying. It also includes the total "user experience," which may include the aesthetic appearance of the device, response time, and content which is presented to the user within the context of the user interface. It includes many principles, types and elements which all have their own different significances.

THEORY :

USER INTERFACE :

A term which refers to the way a program presents itself to a user, what it looks like on the screen, the commands it puts at user's disposal, or the level at which user can communicate with the program.

It may also be defined as the aspect of a computer system that can be perceived by the user, often displayed on a screen and also, User Interface is the way in which the product is designed to interact with the user in terms of text menus, checkboxes, clickable images, etc. It determines how commands are given to the computer or the program and how information is displayed on the screen. For example a famous apple iphone has a touchscreen interface by which we can interact with the phone by touching our fingers.

USER INTERFACE DESIGN :

As already told above, to interact with computer or any other machine , we use all input devices, such as a mouse, keyboard, touch screen, remote control, joy stick, game controller or data glove,etc. to make a better interface design. User interface design is also known as Human-Computer Interaction or HCI. Military aircraft, vehicles, airports, audio equipment, and computer peripherals, are a few products that extensively apply User Interface .

According to Gillian Crampton Smith (director of Ivrea Interaction Design Institute (Italy)),

" Information technology and all the computer networks are transforming practically all the aspects of the world we live in. User interface design determines the quality of our experience while we use these systems and therefore determines the value of our experience. "

User interface design always aims to enhance the visual, usability and technological qualities of an interface. It adds to the satisfaction of the user which is using that particular product or service.

A best interface have the following qualities:

usefulness

learnability

efficiency

ease of memorization

reliability

user-friendliness 

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE USER INTERFACE DESIGN :

Even, the more intuitive the user interface, the easier will it be to use, and the easier it will be to use and the less expensive to use it. Nowadays, Increasing numbers of websites are developing creative user interface design, taking advantage of users' increasing levels of Internet-sophistication and faster connections. These new interfaces often allow users to view and manipulate huge quantities of data.

Well-designed graphical user interfaces allows the users to remain the user free from learning complex command languages. A good user interface design tells the difference between acceptance of a software and its failure in the market.

FOUR TYPES OF USER INTERFACE :

On contemporary computational environments, four kinds of `integrated environment' are in use.

These are:

The shell or `command line interface', such as `sh' or `bash'.

The shell is the integrator, and we can run programs, such as ls or grep, that can be piped.

It's a technique for interacting with a computer operating system  by typing commands to perform specific tasks. This interface contrasts with the use of a mouse pointer with a graphical user interface (GUI) to click on options, or menus to select options. This method of instructing a computer is referred to as "entering" a command. Here, the system waits for the user to conclude the submitting of the text command by pressing the "Enter" key. A command-line interpreter  receives, analyses, and executes the requested command.

CLIs are often used by programmers and system administrators, in engineering and scientific environments, and by technically advanced personal computer users. Programming languages like  BASIC, Python, LISP, Forth, Tcl ...) also provide an interactive command line for their particular tasks.

2) The virtual Lisp machine, Emacs

Emacs is the integrator, pulling together many libraries, including an editor.

Emacs  is a group of text editors, usually characterized by their extensibility. Emacs has over 1,000 commands .Also, it allows the user to combine these commands into macros to automate works. Emacs provides commands to manipulate   paragraphs  by deleting , moving , and so forth , syntax highlighting for making source code easier to study .

Emacs can be used as an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) which furthur allows programmers to edit, compile, and debug the code within a single interface.

The graphic user interface, such as Gnome, KDE

It's a program interface that takes the useof computerHYPERLINK "http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/C/computer.html"'HYPERLINK "http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/C/computer.html"s graphics capabilities to make the program easier to use and which also allows users to interact with programs in more ways than typing such as computers,  MP3 players, portable media players rather than text commands. A major advantage of GUIs is that they make computer operation more intuitive, and thus easier to learn and use. GUI is easier to use and requires less experience, less training, and tends to look nicer than a CLI. For eg. GNOME and KDE.

GNOME, a graphical user interface ,desktop environment that runs on top of a computer operating system. It can be used with Unix-like operating systems, mostly  GNU/Linux, GNOME's project provides two things. Firstly, The GNOME desktop environment which is an intuitive and attractive desktop for users, and secondly, the GNOME development platform which is an extensive framework for building applications that integrate into the rest of screen.

Similarly, KDE is an alos  free software  which gives us a lots of  applications to run on  different operating systems like Linux,  Microsoft Windows,  Solaris etc..  It basically provides basic desktop functions and applications for daily needs as well as tools and documentation for developers to write applications for the system.

The auditory interface, Emacspeak

Emacspeak is truly different from the previous three types of interface even though it is built on Emacs.

 Its a speech-enabling approach that separates computation from the user interface and integrates speech into the human-computer interaction. The Auditory User Interface works directly with the computational core of the application as the GUI does.

USER INTERFACE DESIGN PRINCIPLES :

The structure principle: The structure principle is concerned with your overall user interface strucuture. How will our design looks , by differentiating different things and also, integrating similar things.etc.

The simplicity principle: In this, design should make simple, common tasks simple to do, and simply in the user's own language.

The visibility principle: In this, design should keep all needed options and materials for a given task visible without distracting important information.

The feedback principle: In this, we take feedback of what designs we have developed and also, design should keep users informed of actions or interpretations, changes of state or condition, and errors.

The tolerance principle: In this, design should be flexible and tolerant, reducing the cost of mistakes and misuse by preventing errors wherever possible by tolerating varied inputs and sequences .

The reuse principle: Here, the design should reuse internal and external components and behaviors, maintaining consistency with purpose which will thus reduce the need for users to rethink and remember.

ADVANTAGES :

Good UIs are critical to success

UI programming is easy, straightforward and rational.

They are user friendly, and also, increases the user's speed.

Well-designed graphical user interfaces can free the user from learning complex command languages. On the other hand, many users find that they work more effectively with a command-driven interface, especially if they already know the command language.

Command Line Interface, requires less memory, disk space, processor, and video capacity. Even,GUI is generally easier to .

It looks professional also.

DISADVANTAGES

When it is not properly built, it can be very difficult to work with, it generally requires more memory resources than a non- graphical one. Also, It might require the installation of additional software eg. " run time environment" in case of java. And, depending on the programmer , it might require more time to be implemented.

FUTURE SCOPES

The user interfaces are very crucial for good user experience. It doesn't matter how good a technology is , the technology will hardly reach a breakthrough. To gain the interest in a new product or technology, users need to understand its advantages or find themselves impressed or involved. There are lots of coming interfaces which can be seen in the coming years, which will rule the world with their unexplainable functioning , are Brain - computer interface, Biometric and Cybernetic Interfaces, Fingerprint Scanners, Universal Control System, Wearable Retinal Display , Voice Controlling, Gesture Recognition, etc. In the future, natural language recognition and voice recognition will become standard components of the user interface

OUR ROLE

Usernomics can assist the companies with User Interface Design across a wide range of products. We can together help to make any product usable, effective, and accepted by end users by using modern techniques. Our product's interface design will benefit from a systematic user-centered approach culminating in empirical Usability Testing which can be furthur usable, efficient, and marketable.

CONCLUSION

User Interface Design comprises the overall definition of how the user interacts with the product from a physical and software perspective. Therefore, User Interface Design includes the definition of interaction procedures, the visual representation thereof (such as Graphical User Interfaces, or GUIs), and the physical representation of the product (the Industrial Design).. 

The purpose of User Interface Design is to define the hardware and software operational features of the proposed product in sufficient detail to verify the product's future usability and marketability, and to provide the development team with the information to effectively build the product.

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