What is User Interface?

Starting from the very bottom, I started an internet trawl to get an insight as to what User Interface (UI) actually is. Wikipedia defines it as ‘The user interface, in the industrial design field of human–machine interaction, is the space where interactions between humans and machines occur. The goal of this interaction is to allow effective operation and control of the machine from the human end, whilst the machine simultaneously feeds back information that aids the operators’ decision making process.’

This is all well and good, but what does that actually mean? As a visual person, I then went to good ol’ Pinterest and typed in UI.

Pinterest search for UI

I now face the opposite problem of having too much visual stimulation with no clear understanding of what I’m actually looking at.

Then I found this… ‘User Interface (UI) Design focuses on anticipating what users might need to do and ensuring that the interface has elements that are easy to access, understand, and use to facilitate those actions. UI brings together concepts from interaction design, visual design, and information architecture.’ Source

I realised that although I have never had an ‘education’ around UI, I’d actually been experiencing it and judging it for most of my adult life. Thinking about the progression that technology has made and how easy it is to do things now, that previously were not as accessible. The idea that back in my school days, I used to go to my bookshelf and pull out one of the alphabetised World Books to discover something new, whereas now I can verbally talk to a phone in my hand and it can provide me with an instantaneous answer… well I figure that is a user experience in itself.


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