A user interface is anything that helps people control devices and programs through voice, taps, gestures, command line, and even thought. The most popular type of interface right now is the UI of applications.
UI translates to "user interface". The UI not only includes the graphical interface, but also haptic, voice or sound.
An interface helps two objects understand each other and exchange information.
An interface is a "communication language" understood by both objects that interact with each other to solve a particular issue.
If every app or program installed on your computer, tablet, or smartphone is a helper, then an interface is a way to communicate (interact) with it so that it helps with your business at work and in life.
For example, digital systems have user interfaces that are graphical, voice, command line, and gesture - all of which are interfaces. Through the user interface, we get access to new features that an application gives us for learning, for work, for creativity, for entertainment.
Software, hardware, and hardware-software interfaces are also common. These interfaces provide interaction not only between man and machine (device), but also between programs, hardware or computers:
User interfaces come in gesture, tactile, voice, graphical, command line, and even neural.
The command line is still very popular among system administrators and programmers. It is one of the first methods of interaction with the computer. It has a special charm - it creates a feeling of one-on-one communication with the machine without intermediaries. The command line is like an endless A4 sheet, on which the user enters text commands and gets the results in the form of text.
GUI is the most popular type of UI. This is a little window with different controls. Users interact with them using the keyboard, mouse and voice commands: click on the buttons, push the mouse, swipe a finger.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic," the English science fiction writer and futurologist Arthur C. Clarke once said.
For example, through the Voice User Interface, you can give commands to your smartphone through voice assistants: Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa.
NUI (gesture, natural) is used in games for Xbox, Nintendo Wii or PlayStation consoles. You'll find the same technology in smart home equipment, such as turning on lights or adjusting the volume by changing the position of your hand.
Manufacturers are rocking the technology and expanding the capabilities of machines, and you can even enjoy new gadget tricks by sending your thoughts directly to your computer.
The UI of mobile and web applications, as well as games and services for entertainment, are more often referred to by this term.
Is allocated in a separate group SIMP (Screen, Icon, Menu, Pointer). The approach to the design of mobile interfaces differs from the approach to the design of desktop applications. The user behavior when interacting with smartphones is different from on a computer because of the size of the screen and the lack of a separate keyboard with a mouse/touchpad. Elements here fill the screen completely, and blocks and systems depend on the requirements of the operating system.
The design of mobile applications also depends on the behavioral patterns of users, such as how they hold the smartphone in their hand, what actions are convenient to perform on the go, etc.
The technology allows to create full-fledged web-applications, which are not inferior to desktop software in terms of functionality.
It is connected with the mechanics of the gameplay. It is in it that the accompanying role of the interface is best revealed, because the player better feels that he is moving towards a goal (for example, to defeat the boss and pass the level). The interface depends on the game: buttons, gestures, mouse movements or interaction with the sensor on the screen or 3D interface in VR, pressing keys on the joystick.
Software products are designed to enhance our capabilities in the real world. Every product is like a superhero, its task is to help us with something: super memory, communication across all distances, maximum entertainment, and so on. All of these features we access through interfaces.
We unlock each application in a specific context. The context implies certain expectations of how things should work. Expectations are based on past experiences. When we encounter a new product, we unconsciously transfer to it formed expectations and habits that have been built in the past around another similar product (or way of solving a similar problem).
A mental model is a schema in our memory with the logic "object → interaction principle → result. In doing so, we expect similar behavior and result from all similar objects.
"The mental model is based on beliefs, not facts. This means taking what users already know (or think they know) about how your product works. And take that to work."
In international practice, the UI design approach has already become a standard. The UI design process includes the following key steps. In this block I rely on the materials of UX Mastery - a partner of Interaction Design Foundation, the world's largest UX design learning community.
The basic principles can be traced back through 24 years of interface research: from 1987 to 2009. These principles still work today.
Interface design guidelines. Schneiderman (1987) and Plaisent (2009):