Interaction Styles – Human Computer Interaction

Interaction can be simply explained as the communication between System and the User. Applications using different styles of interaction, some of them are
  1. Command line interface – method of expressing instructions to the system using keys, words, characters, and abbreviations commonly known as commands.
    • Suitable for repetitive tasks
    • Better for Expert Users
    • Offers direct access to the system functionalities
    • Commands have to be meaningful                                  aid1864097-v4-728px-Find-All-Commands-of-CMD-in-Your-Computer-Step-5-Version-4
  2. Menus – A set of options displayed on the screen, as demand. Names have to be meaningful and specific. Items on the menu can be selected by the mouse or alphanumeric keys. Menu System can be,
    • Purely text base with options prescribed as numbered choices
    • can be a graphical component with meu appearing in a box and selecting can be done by typing the initial letter or moving around with the mouse or keysmenu
  3. Natural Languages – language familiar to humans. Voice recognition is an example of natural languages.
  4. Form filling interface – Screens like paper form with fields and data have to be filled in the correct data field. Primarily designed for data entry and retrieval.
  5. WIMP – WIMP stands for, (Windows, Icon, Menu, and Pointer)
    • Windows – Area of the screen that behaves as independent terminal.
      • can contain text and graphics
      • can be moved or resized
      • can be overlapped with other windows
      • can be laid out next to each other
      • the scrollbar allows the user to move up and down, side by side
      • Titlebar describes the name of the window


    • Icons – Some picture or image used to represent some objects in the interface often a window. Windows can be closed down into this small icon.
    • Pointer – An important component since WIMP style relies on pointing and selecting things such as icons and menu items. Usually achieved with mouse, joystick, track, cursor keys or keyboard shortcut.


Mathanraj Sharma
University of Jaffna

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