Many considerations must be taken into account when developing a winning Human-Machine Interface (HMI) strategy. As technology continues to evolve at astounding rates, designers are finding more ways to make everyday products extraordinary; pushing the boundaries of user interface to new levels of immersion and engagement that were deemed impossible just a few years ago.
Though technological breakthroughs have opened doors to un-chartered possibilities, the true cornerstone of superior HMI, UI, UX and GUI design remains rooted in an element as old as humanity itself – the human psyche.
The Age of Expectations
The desires, needs and motivations that shape human behavior have changed over the years. As a culture, we have certainly grown accustomed to expecting greater results from less effort. And, thanks to the steady progression of technology, the Average Joes and Janes of the modern world enjoy levels of comfort and luxury that monarchs, kings and queens could scarcely have dreamt of in their time.
Despite all that, we still want the same basic things today that we wanted back then. We crave knowledge. We yearn for connectivity. We want to be “wowed”. The big difference now is that we expect those things to come to us quickly and easily… at the click of a button. Making that happen is a function of strategic Human-Machine Interface – and GUI is at the heart of it.
Expectations and Desires
Thanks to swift minds and active imaginations, the gap between what users want and what users expect from UX has narrowed. The gap has closed so much, in fact, that those desires and expectations have become more like needs – necessary components of UI and UX that create seamless interactions.
Users need… SIMPLICITY
When form and function marry well it’s a beautiful thing, but don’t sacrifice the former for the latter. Apply the KISS rule and conduct plenty of user tests. GUI provides universally recognizable visual cues that can be elegant and practical at the same time. As they say, a picture is worth 1000 words.
People need… SPEED
The average attention span of humans has been steadily declining over recent years. As of 2013, the average was eight seconds. That’s one second LESS than a goldfish. In keeping with the KISS rule, uncomplicated equals ease and speed.
Users need… MEMORABILITY
Memory span varies greatly from individual to individual, but reducing the learning curve is a win for everyone. The key? Design something simple and unforgettable.
Users need… SUCCESS
User errors are frustrating, and associated with failure. Nobody likes that. The simpler something is, the less likely users are to make mistakes. Beyond that, when the interface is responsible for the error, users want and expect (need) glitches to be handled gracefully.
The Beauty of GUI
Meeting the basic human needs of users is the crux of GUI. Visual interfaces work with the human brain – work with our psychology – to bridge once impossible divides that we now control at our fingertips. Using a well-designed GUI is a visceral experience. Bringing together style and clear articulation to satisfy the innate expectations of our minds.
So, as you develop your ground-breaking, brand-defining GUI, tap into your own wants and needs. There you’ll find the lamp to light your way.