User interface: The X-Factor when interacting with software & applications

The more complex technology becomes, so do our needs. Two of the essential needs that we seek, especially when it comes to business processes, are speed and efficiency. While we cover the need of speed and efficiency, we realised that there is also another need: entertainment. We want to be entertained and have interactions during our engagements. User interface fills the gap created by digitalisation.

We may not realise how common and crucial their functions are. One thing is for sure: user interfaces make our lives much easier. In this blog, we have talked about the topic of user interfaces with a very basic approach since this topic can easily get very detailed and technical.

What is user interface?

The term is rather self-explanatory: user interface (UI) is a tool/gadget that helps people to interact and operate more efficiently and easily. In other words, allowing human interactions with computers, software, applications, websites to occur. There are two aspects that happen when humans start to interact with user interface: ability to efficiently and easily command and receiving instant feedback that helps for the decision-making process for the human that operates.

User interfaces are created with multiple layers, having the goal of appealing to the users’ senses, such as touch, sight and auditory. These layers help humans to spend as little effort as possible for to reach the expected results when interacting with it. The layers are supported with various devices to increase and ease the level of interaction, such as keyboard, mouse, microphone, touch screen, camera and many more.

What is user interface?

There are various types of user interfaces, depending on the respective need as each UI serves for a different goal. Below, we are pointinged out the most common ones for you:

Form-based user interface: It is applied for introducing data into a software or application through limited options such as a menu.

Graphical user interface: A visual user interface output with a tangible user interface input (monitor and keyboard).

Touch user interface: It is a form of tangible user interfaces. Today, smartphones, tablets, even watches in some cases and any other devices that have a touch screen implemented do contain this specific interface.

Menu-driven interface: A form of user interface composed of multiple choices (usually as a list) to operate as a navigator.

Voice user interface: It represents the process of interaction between humans and machines through voice commands. Virtual assistants and Global Positioning System (GPS)’s are common examples.

Why is it important to have user interfaces?

Besides easing and increasing the efficiency of human interaction, user interfaces play a key role when it comes to functionality of computers, software, applications or websites. Functionality is usually measured by how fast and well the responsiveness level of the user interface is. It is also important to take user experience into account when designing and focusing on the functionality of user interfaces.

Below, we are highlighting important components of user interfaces. These components give valuable insights on the objectives of user interfaces. However, user interfaces, in most of the cases today, contain multiple components.

Information architecture: It has the objective to provide an easy process, bring out the most important information with the minimal effort for the user. Information architectures can be built up in hierarchical, sequential or matrix-based form. They also include tooltips, icons, progress bar, notifications, message boxes, modal windows.

Visual design: When it comes to visual design, colour, contrast, font, video and video occupies a crucial role to attract the user as highly as possible. While the goal is creating the attraction, it is also considered as a mission-critical to make the user continue the interaction as much as possible.

Input design: These controls allow users to interact with computers, software, applications, websites to complete their desired action. They include checkboxes, radio buttons, dropdown lists, list boxes, buttons, toggles, text fields, date field.

Navigational components: As you can understand, they are placed in order to provide an easy and efficient navigation for the user when interacting. Breadcrumb, slider, search field, pagination, slider, tags, icons are common examples.

User interface vs. user experience

Although, user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) are highly related and are, both benefiting from each other, they do differ. Delivering functionality and experience have both fundamental differences with the fact that they aim different aspects. User interfaces are designed to optimize the ‘look and feel’ of software, applications and, websites; while user experience focuses on the whole process as a conceptualisation and delivery.

The ANNEA Platform: A user interface

The ANNEA platform is built on cutting-edge technology and latest IT security implementations with the ultimate goal of bringing efficiency, security and ease to your production.

It is the very place to view, control, compare, analyse everything related to your energy production. We provide all the necessary information with in-depth view. In addition, the in-depth view is applied for each component level. It is even possible to analyse and visualise combination of historical and real-time data.

The ANNEA Platform is an ever developing and evolving platform. Depending on the business-specific needs, the platform can be tailor-made to the farm configuration. Contact us to get the up-to-date information from the ANNEA Expert Team!

What now?

In our series of blog posts we have taken you on a journey in which we explained the expertise areas of ANNEA to you in this blog series. Check our other ANNEA blog posts for more topics focusing on data acquisition, Internet of Things, digital twin, edge computing, automated predictive engine.

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