Human-Computer Interaction: Ergonomics and User Interfaces - Vol. 1

By Hans-Jörg Bullinger; Jürgen Ziegler | Go to book overview
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3.2
Interface adaptability
A high level of interface adaptability is needed for two reasons:
to implement the customisation requirements, and
to facilitate the interface optimisation in the course of the usability process.

The software components of the system are of such a high-reliability nature that kernel software modifications can barely be afforded just for interface adaptation. This is a point where HTML comes in handy, or rather an interface generation approach which makes use of HTML. Actual HTML pages are only produced from application-provided data using HTML templates to add common elements and layout. This way, common look-and-feel throughout the system interfaces is ensured in a straight-forward, automatically handled generation technology. Also, various degrees of adaptation, customisation and even user preferences can be achieved with this approach.


3.3
Benefits of full HTML page customisation

In addition to the dynamic properties implemented by the page generation approach, also the HTML templates can be completely exchanged. This enables extensive but still easy customisation of all interface aspects; the interface structure (the hyper-linked network of interface pages) and all the kinds of presentation for certain elements (link/button/icon, graphic images, specific layout attributes).

Flexibility: HTML allows experimentation, modification, and layout tuning (within limits) with an amazing flexibility. A large number of tools is available to construct HTML pages, including working on the plain source which is still much easier than fiddling with a cumbersome GUI programming interface. All HTML elements including graphics are always available for immediate integration and test.

Acceptance: Finally, the resulting interface provides a familiar feeling to many customers, not only computer experts. Also, HTML interfacing works seamlessly without client installation or applet download delays even for home customers which is an important aspect for the intended application domain of the system.


4
References

Mandel, T. ( 1997). "The Elements of user interface design". Wiley.

Shneiderman, B. ( 1998). "Designing the User Interface". Addison Wesley.

Stüper, U. ( 1998). "Style Guide for Development of Graphical User Interfaces". Siemens ICN Handbook.

Weinschenk, S., Jamar, P., Yeo, S. C. ( 1997). "GUI Design Essentials". Wiley.

-599-

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