Like any human invention, the user interface has changed over time. The overall goal of UI evolution was simplification and increase in the efficiency and accessibility of interaction for users of all categories.
The interface history goes back to the familiar command line. This was the first method of human-computer interaction. Communication was simple: the user entered standard commands and received responses. However, this type of UI had a severe drawback – to interact with the system users had to study the syntax.
Nevertheless, due to technical limitations, the command line remained the only method of human-computer interaction. The situation has changed about 30 years ago when Apple and Microsoft presented a graphical user interface – the GUI, which became a step towards the simplicity of communication.
The GUI basic idea was that the recognition is better than feedback.
The interface was built around real-world metaphors – the elements allowing people to form associations with real actions. The use of real-world metaphors has significantly simplified interaction with the computer.
Since the advent of GUI, it became viral. Even today, when we think about interfaces, we imagine a window with convenient buttons. The GUI is looking at you right now while you are reading this article in your internet browser.
We take it for granted: to interact with the computer it needs to have a screen. What if the GUI is not the best solution?
The GUI also inherits one big problem – it is an artificial intermediary between a man and a computer. It requires study and adaptation.
The problem becomes even more apparent when we think about why we use digital products. As users, we pay for them to solve specific problems. When we solve our problems, we need to focus on them, not on the rules of the shrewd UI.
The closer we get to the natural “human-to-human” interface, the more comfortable it becomes to solve these problems. Our natural UI is our speech. This is generally the first interface that a child learns after the first word spoken in life.
That is why developers are so interested in the potential of the interactive interface.
Interactive UI allows interacting with the machine in a relaxed and natural way, without remembering the meaning of the buttons and the location of numerous menus, without being distracted from the current affairs and even without looking at the computer screen. This is what a 21st-century user needs!
However, conversational interfaces are not as modern as you might think.
IBM created one of the first interactive UIs called the Shoebox in the early 1960s. It was the predecessor of modern speech recognition systems.
Why didn’t people use this technology then? The answer is simple: lack of computing power and inefficient speech processing technologies of that period.
© Tesoro Studio Team