Graphical system advantages
The success of graphical systems has been attributed to a host of factors. The following have been commonly referenced in literature and endorsed by their advocates as advantages of these systems.
Symbols recognized faster than text: symbols can be recognized faster and more accurately than text. An example of a good classification scheme that speeds up recognition is the icons. These icons allow speedy recognition of the type of message being presented.
Faster learning: a graphical, pictorial representation aids learning, and symbols can also be easily learned.
Faster use and problem solving: Visual or spatial representation of information has been found to be easier to retain and manipulate and leads to faster and more successful problem solving.
Easier remembering: Because of greater simplicity, it is easier for casual users to retain operational concepts.
More natural: symbolic displays are more natural and advantageous because the human mind has a powerful image memory.
Fewer errors: Reversibility of actions reduces error rates because it is always possible to undo the last step. Error messages are less frequently needed.
Increased feeling of control: The user initiates actions and feels in control. This increases user confidence
Immediate feedback: The results of actions furthering user goals can be seen immediately. If the response is not in the desired direction, the direction can be changed quickly.
Predictable system responses: Predictable system responses also speed learning.
Easily reversible actions: This ability to reverse unwanted actions also increases user confidence
More attractive: Direct-manipulation systems are more entertaining, cleverer, and more appealing.
May consume less space: Icons may take up less space than the equivalent in words but this is not the case always.
Replaces national languages: Icons possess much more universality than text and are much more easily comprehended worldwide.
Easily augmented with text displays: Where graphical design limitations exist, direct-manipulation systems can easily be augmented with text displays. The reverse is not true.
Low typing requirements: Pointing and selection controls, such as the mouse or trackball, eliminate the need for typing skills.
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