HP Labs Technical Reports



The Design Space of Interfaces

Frohlich, David

HPL-92-20

Keyword(s):

Abstract: We present a framework for describing the design space of human computer interfaces which relates interface modes, channels, media and styles for both input and output interfaces. Language and action modes are supported through use of the audio, visual and haptic channels. Interface media are derived from the combination of modality and channel. Use of these channels within the language mode gives rise to interaction within the speech, text and gesture media, while use of the same channels within the action mode gives rise to interaction within the sound, graphics and motion media. A range of interface styles is allocated to one of the two basic interface modes, and the possibility of implementing the same style in more than one medium is noted. Application of the framework is illustrated in relation to so called *direct manipulation* interfaces such as those of the Apple Macintosh operating system. It reveals extensive use of linguistic utterances as well as manipulative actions.

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