A CDE Definition
An application that the user interacts with. Contrast with software that runs in the background, which the user never sees. See user interface.
The way a person interacts with a computer, tablet, smartphone or other electronic device. The user interface (UI) comprises the screen menus and icons, keyboard shortcuts, mouse and gesture movements, command language and online help, as well as physical buttons, dials and levers. Also included are the physical components, such as the mouse, keyboard, touchscreen, remote and game controllers.
The Bar Was Set Low
The user interface is the most important, yet least-understood area in the computer industry. Every application has only a handful of basic functions that users need all the time, yet they are often buried in arcane submenus that must be memorized. Worse yet, once bad examples are set by major vendors, others follow like sheep. Since popular applications are often hard to learn, users have come to expect that using software has to be difficult, when in fact, it could be downright simple if educated designers were involved. One shining light is the smartphone. Its small screen tends to force designers to think about usability more than ever, but sadly not all do (see good user interface).
Users Are Reluctant to Change
Because of the steep learning curves people have to endure, many are disinclined to change applications. While the software industry constantly touts "productivity gains" for every new product, the lost hours figuring out how to do something, combined with the gun-shy reluctance to actually try a different product that might really be an improvement often impede productivity.
Ask and Ye Shall Receive
Voice and natural language input and verbal output are increasingly standard components of the user interface, and they can be an enormous help. However, recognizing human speech and delivering the proper action is a daunting computational task. Sometimes the results people get are fraught with errors and downright laughable. Nevertheless, improvements are expected every year in this arena (see virtual assistant). See RTFM, user experience, naming fiascos, Freedman's law, flat design, Web rage, HCI and HMI.
It Can Change World History
Give Us A Break!
Read the Manual (RTFM)
Keep the Elevator Door Open
A Century of Experience Didn't Help
It Was 2013. Or Was It?
I Thought My Phone Was a Note II
Da Fup What??
OK. Bad Formula. But Where?
Even Worse for the Technician
Remotes Are No Exception
Before/After Your Search Term
Terms By Topic
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