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Chapter: User Interface Design

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Concept of Direct Manipulation

The term used to describe this style of interaction for graphical systems was first used by Shneiderman (1982). He called them “direct manipulation” systems, suggesting that they possess the following characteristics:

Concept of Direct Manipulation

 

The term used to describe this style of interaction for graphical systems was first used by Shneiderman (1982). He called them “direct manipulation” systems, suggesting that they possess the following characteristics:

 

The system is portrayed as an extension of the real world: A person is allowed to work in a familiar environment and in a familiar way, focusing on the data, not the application and tools. The physical organization of the system, which most often is unfamiliar, is hidden from view and is not a distraction.

 

Continuous visibility of objects and actions: objects are continuously visible. Reminders of actions to be performed are also obvious. Nelson (1980) described this concept as “virtual reality,” a representation of reality that can be manipulated. Hatfield (1981) is credited with calling it “WYSIWYG” (what you see is what you get) and Rutkowski (1982) described it as “transparency,”

 

Actions are rapid and incremental with visible display of results : the results of actions are immediately displayed visually on the screen in their new and current form. Auditory feedback may also be provided. The impact of a previous action is quickly seen, and the evolution of tasks is continuous and effortless.

 

Incremental actions are easily reversible: Finally, actions, if discovered to be incorrect or not desired, can be easily undone.


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