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Chapter: User Interface Design

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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.

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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