Before a display is designed, the task that the display is intended to support must be defined e. A user or operator must be able to process whatever information that a system generates and displays; therefore, the information must be displayed according to principles in a manner that will support perception, situation awareness, and understanding. Christopher Wickens et al. These principles of human perception and information processing can be utilized to create an effective display design. A reduction in errors, a reduction in required training time, an increase in efficiency, and an increase in user satisfaction are a few of the many potential benefits that can be achieved through utilization of these principles.
Certain principles may not be applicable to different displays or situations. Some principles may seem to be conflicting, and there is no simple solution to say that one principle is more important than another. The principles may be tailored to a specific design or situation.
Striking a functional balance among the principles is critical for an effective design. Make displays legible or audible. A display's legibility is critical and necessary for designing a usable display.
If the characters or objects being displayed cannot be discernible, then the operator cannot effectively make use of them. Avoid absolute judgment limits. Do not ask the user to determine the level of a variable on the basis of a single sensory variable e. These sensory variables can contain many possible levels.
Top-down processing. Signals are likely perceived and interpreted in accordance with what is expected based on a user's experience. If a signal is presented contrary to the user's expectation, more physical evidence of that signal may need to be presented to assure that it is understood correctly. Redundancy gain. If a signal is presented more than once, it is more likely that it will be understood correctly. This can be done by presenting the signal in alternative physical forms e.
A traffic light is a good example of redundancy, as color and position are redundant. Similarity causes confusion: Use distinguishable elements.
Signals that appear to be similar will likely be confused. The ratio of similar features to different features causes signals to be similar. For example, AB9 is more similar to AB8 than 92 is to Unnecessarily similar features should be removed and dissimilar features should be highlighted. Principle of pictorial realism. A display should look like the variable that it represents e. If there are multiple elements, they can be configured in a manner that looks like it would in the represented environment. Principle of the moving part.
Moving elements should move in a pattern and direction compatible with the user's mental model of how it actually moves in the system. For example, the moving element on an altimeter should move upward with increasing altitude. Minimizing information access cost or interaction cost. When the user's attention is diverted from one location to another to access necessary information, there is an associated cost in time or effort.
A display design should minimize this cost by allowing for frequently accessed sources to be located at the nearest possible position. However, adequate legibility should not be sacrificed to reduce this cost.
Proximity compatibility principle. Divided attention between two information sources may be necessary for the completion of one task.
see These sources must be mentally integrated and are defined to have close mental proximity. Information access costs should be low, which can be achieved in many ways e. However, close display proximity can be harmful by causing too much clutter. Principle of multiple resources.
A user can more easily process information across different resources. For example, visual and auditory information can be presented simultaneously rather than presenting all visual or all auditory information. Replace memory with visual information: knowledge in the world. A user should not need to retain important information solely in working memory or retrieve it from long-term memory.
A menu, checklist, or another display can aid the user by easing the use of their memory. However, the use of memory may sometimes benefit the user by eliminating the need to reference some type of knowledge in the world e. The use of knowledge in a user's head and knowledge in the world must be balanced for an effective design. Principle of predictive aiding. Proactive actions are usually more effective than reactive actions.
A display should attempt to eliminate resource-demanding cognitive tasks and replace them with simpler perceptual tasks to reduce the use of the user's mental resources. This will allow the user to focus on current conditions, and to consider possible future conditions. An example of a predictive aid is a road sign displaying the distance to a certain destination.
Principle of consistency. Old habits from other displays will easily transfer to support processing of new displays if they are designed consistently. A user's long-term memory will trigger actions that are expected to be appropriate. A design must accept this fact and utilize consistency among different displays. The human—computer interface can be described as the point of communication between the human user and the computer.
The flow of information between the human and computer is defined as the loop of interaction.
The loop of interaction has several aspects to it, including:. End-user development studies how ordinary users could routinely tailor applications to their own needs and to invent new applications based on their understanding of their own domains. With their deeper knowledge, users could increasingly be important sources of new applications at the expense of generic programmers with systems expertise but low domain expertise.
Computation is passing beyond computers into every object for which uses can be found. Embedded systems make the environment alive with little computations and automated processes, from computerized cooking appliances to lighting and plumbing fixtures to window blinds to automobile braking systems to greeting cards.
The expected difference in the future is the addition of networked communications that will allow many of these embedded computations to coordinate with each other and with the user.
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Human interfaces to these embedded devices will in many cases be disparate from those appropriate to workstations. Augmented reality refers to the notion of layering relevant information into our vision of the world. Existing projects show real-time statistics to users performing difficult tasks, such as manufacturing.
Future work might include augmenting our social interactions by providing additional information about those we converse with. In recent years, there has been an explosion of social science research focusing on interactions as the unit of analysis. Much of this research draws from psychology, social psychology, and sociology. For example, one study found out that people expected a computer with a man's name to cost more than a machine with a woman's name.
In human and computer interactions, a semantic gap usually exists between human and computer's understandings towards mutual behaviors.
Ontology , as a formal representation of domain-specific knowledge, can be used to address this problem, through solving the semantic ambiguities between the two parties. In the interaction of humans and computers, research has studied how computers can detect, process and react to human emotions to develop emotionally intelligent information systems. Researchers have suggested several 'affect-detection channels'. A brain—computer interface BCI , is a direct communication pathway between an enhanced or wired brain and an external device.
BCI differs from neuromodulation in that it allows for bidirectional information flow. BCIs are often directed at researching, mapping, assisting, augmenting, or repairing human cognitive or sensory-motor functions. Traditionally, computer use was modeled as a human—computer dyad in which the two were connected by a narrow explicit communication channel, such as text-based terminals. Much work has been done to make the interaction between a computing system and a human more reflective of the multidimensional nature of everyday communication.
Because of potential issues, human—computer interaction shifted focus beyond the interface to respond to observations as articulated by D. Engelbart: "If ease of use was the only valid criterion, people would stick to tricycles and never try bicycles. The means by which humans interact with computers continues to evolve rapidly.