Our reliance on mobile computing and home automation positions us into a symbiosis with computer and User Interfaces (UI). Advances in human-computer interactions (HCI), from touch screens to voice recognition, are opening up computing to new markets. The future of UI design is allowing a wider demographic to take part in HCI.
Interface Enhancing Experience
The User Interface is a valuable area of User Experience (UX) design and goes beyond a product’s visual or tactile appeal. The UI needs to deliver on user expectations and provide clear and concise access to all relevant information.
A user’s previous interactions can tell a simple story by the type of queries they have asked the system. Visual tracking speaks volumes about the ergonomics of products and tells us more than a traditional survey.
Artificial Intelligence can help turn the user’s habits of visual time spent on a web page into statistical information. These AI statistics go on to form a bigger picture about engagement and understanding.
Part of the UX design process is to understand how best to communicate the product and determine the most effective format to apply. If the product seems to lack the luster expected when it hits the marketplace, rapid prototyping can rescue the launch.
The savings on testing prototypes before committing to the mass manufacturing stage are huge. Advances in computer animation and now 3D printing mean that the cost of a physical prototype is negligible.
Rapid prototyping allows developers to create several versions of the same product and then test them to find the most engaging. Manufacturers can produce prototypes in small numbers, then test them in real situations in a trial group.
Speech recognition was unreliable for a long time, but now it is stitched into our daily lives, from calling friends to controlling our homes. Typing in the names of songs or movies is redundant, as voice recognition catches the command and makes it happen.
UX Designers factor speech recognition into computerized devices, such as smartwatches and games, to create a better UX. User Interfaces include home automation kits to switch on and off the power to various devices and to adjust the air temperature in your home.
Image via Flickr by Rosenfield Media
Visual tracking was once the tool reserved for those unable to speak, but it helps speed up our communication with computers. The early internet used basic eye-tracking techniques, which led to animated banners — a format not possible with print.
Through the measurement of eye movement, focus, and position, a computer can decide what is the object of interest. Visual tracking can also score the level of interest, which is an essential tool in packaging design.
UX research is increasing its reliance on visual tracking to test the market with prototypes. UX research can do online passive testing across a broad demographic in real-time.
Humans and computers are merging so fast that it is imperative to understand the technologies that bind us. The mass of research possibilities available from HCI is too valuable to ignore. The successful business leaders of the future are those that are taking the time to learn about User Interface design through an online course in human-computer interaction.