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The Electronic Library Manager's Guide to human‐computer interfaces

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 1 February 1991



The interface between a user and the computer can often be vital in getting data in and out of it. The interface needs to allow for ease of input and ease of displaying data on the screen — not only results, but also screen layouts, forms, menus, help information and the like. Reading text on a computer screen can be very tiring and a good interface can provide increased legibility, readability and comprehension as well as feedback to the user. Basic design principles for the user interface formulated by Wadlow et al (1991) include the premise that the interface must be consistent — actions and objects should behave similarly across different contexts. In addition, the interface should be predictable — a system in which users can anticipate computer behaviour. Furthermore the interface should have features which put certain decisions in the hands of the users, so that s/he feels in control. Since much human computer interaction takes place in a visual frame then the computer system should be visually appealing. Users should also feel that they are dealing with ‘real’ objects — that what they are doing is really happening.


(1991), "The Electronic Library Manager's Guide to human‐computer interfaces", The Electronic Library, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 59-60.




Copyright © 1991, MCB UP Limited

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