Interaction Styles. Interaction Styles. Command-line Interfaces. Reacting to User Input

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1 Interaction Styles Reacting to User Input Interaction Styles Command-line interfaces Menus Natural Language Query dialogs Forms & Spreadsheets WIMP Point & Click 3D interfaces Command-line Interfaces User types in commands in response to a prompt Program takes control by prompting for user input User waits on the program Sequential programs Program tells user when it s ready for more input User then enters more input Shouldn t the program wait on us? 1

2 Command-line interfaces (2) Examples: Operating systems MS Dos, Unix/Linux Applications ftp telnet/ssh/putty Command Line Interfaces (3) Features First interaction style Still used today Allows user to express commands to computer directly May use function keys, whole words, abbreviations, even single characters for commands Sometimes only available interaction style Command-line interfaces (4) Advantages Direct access to system functionality Flexible due to options (switches) that modify commands Good for repetitive tasks (fast!!) Good for expert users Easy to model Disadvantages Memorization of commands and options Often strange syntax 2

3 Guidelines for Good command-line interfaces Commands should use vocabulary of the user, not the computer Consistency between commands Also options Menus Legal options displayed on screen Can be text or GUI-based Options may be numbered in text system Shortcuts sometimes used First letter or a specified letter, or number Tab or arrow keys Advantages Options are visible, so less demand on user memory recognition, rather than recall Designing Menu-based Interactions Menu options should use user s vocabulary Group similar menu options logically to aid recognition Hierarchical organization e.g. sub-menus 3

4 Natural Language Interaction Very attractive mode of interaction Speech or written input E.g. Computer, open Word Eliminates problems of command-line interfaces and menus Forgotten commands Lost in menu hierarchy However Problems with Natural Language interaction Language parsing is very difficult Words are vague and ambiguous Even for people sometimes, not just computers! Homonyms/synonyms confuse speech input Spelling mistakes/typos confuse written input Technically difficult to implement Promise of Natural Languages Success in restricted domains E.g. Dragon Dictate Users must learn phrases that can be understood by computer Language is imprecise Promotes flexibility & creativity But computers require absolute precision 4

5 Query Dialogs User is asked a series of questions Mainly yes/no responses or multiple choice Easy to parse input, since limited number of possible answers Easy to learn Limited functionality not as robust as other types of interfaces Relaxed constraints allow bad input E.g. What is your name? Response: buzz off Good for restricted domains Form-fills Used primarily for data entry/retrieval Presents user with a display similar to a paper form Often based on an actual form User already familiar with actual form Easy movement from field to field E.g. tab key Some fields may be optional Form-fills (2) Correction facility required Users make mistakes Users change their mind Good for novices or experts Task dependent 5

6 Spreadsheets for forms Can be used as sophisticated forms Grid of cells generic form Cells have formulae, e.g. totals, averages Data may be added in any order System maintains consistency and updates values immediately (via formulae) User can manipulate values and observe effects Input == output? WIMP WIMP = windows, icons, menus, pointers Currently most common environment for interactive computing E.g. Windows, MacOS, etc. Combines many of the advantages of other models E.g. recognition rather than recall, limited selections, flexibility, etc. Mixing Interaction Styles Augment WIMP with other styles Old systems are called legacy systems Often hard to replace or update due to investment If it ain t broke, don t fix it! E.g. X-Windows on top of UNIX Mixes command-line interaction with WIMP Command-line interaction in a Window 6

7 Point & Click Multimedia systems (e.g. web browser) often use only a single button click Similar to WIMP Common elements, e.g. buttons Closely related to hypertext idea popularized by WWW pages Not limited to mouse Touch screens Remote pointers Arrow keys 3D Interaction Increasing usage E.g. virtual & augmented reality Simplest usage is 3D look to standard WIMP elements, e.g. raised buttons Sculpted appearance light source to one corner Indiscriminate use of sculpted effects (e.g. text, borders, menus) reduces sense of differentiation Beyond WIMP 3D can also be used for more complex workspaces Display 3D objects with perspective and occlusion 7

8 3D User Interfaces Serious interaction issues Not good for novices Output appears 3D, but input still uses 2D devices (mouse & keyboard) Need to map input to interaction Issues include navigation and manipulation Highly moded Degrees of Freedom Must consider multiple degrees of freedom or constrain the interaction somehow More later 8

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