Computer Interfaces

Written by Nicholas Kamuda
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Broadly speaking, computer interfaces are the public face of computer applications. They provide a way for a user to interact with the guts of a program (also called the implementation of the program or module). In many cases, computer interfaces allow users a way to input variables, define parameters, or answer specific questions that a software module is programmed to collect.

Computer interfaces have been an important part of computer science since the development of public-use software. Interface design has progressed along with computer technology, becoming increasingly more complex over the last 30 years. Today's interfaces often consist of colorful displays that provide a visual and aural context for the software module.

Because interfaces can have such a strong influence on the way a user responds to a software module or program, successful interface designs often consider the user's experience as the most important design concern. Recently, some companies have begun to perform in-depth research for interface design, treating it very similar to a science. Such companies or research bodies may offer consulting services to large corporations, government departments, or other business organizations.

Business Applications of Computer Interfaces

One example of a business application of interface design research is in annual corporate surveys. Annual surveys have many requirements: they must be short, graphically straightforward, and have a high degree of clarity of language. In many cases, strong computer interface design for annual surveys can lead to reliable, valid responses.

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