Re: Term for user interface

Subject: Re: Term for user interface
From: Mike Stockman <stockman -at- jagunet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2001 13:45:54 -0500

At 11:57 AM 1/25/2001 -0600, Julia Land wrote:

A user can issue commands and interact with the program with
a typical graphical user interface and mouse, with a joystick and its
buttons, and by voice.

I'd suggest that you make it clear up front that there are several ways to choose a command (even ways you don't know about yet... how about tapping a command with a stylus on a pen-based tablet?), and it's up to them to pick a method.

After that, come up with a generic way to give instructions, and stick with it consistently. If you say "choose the Melt Hard Drive command on the Destruction menu," that doesn't imply any particular method of choosing the command... it simply tells them about the command and where it lives.

Similarly, if you say "enter some text," you're encompassing typing, speaking, pasting, dragging-and-dropping, and other methods you may not think of... the user can enter some text any way she can, as long as the text gets into the field.

Of course, you could also just write to the majority of users (mouse and keyboard input) and trust those with "alternative" devices to figure it out for themselves, but since it's the same effort either way, why not go generic?

Hope this is useful,

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