User Interface as a Literacy - Impact on DesignViews: 2352
Experts focusing on New Literacy Studies, such as James Gee, have been focusing on learning in non-traditional environments. These environments consist of simulations, virtual worlds, and augmented reality, among others. While these environments enable learning, the means by which we interact with them have a literacy of their own, User-Interface (UI) Literacy. Humans have been interfacing with technology for centuries, and typically design for this interface by “what is intuitive.”
This topic looks at how interfaces of all types – virtual worlds, software, websites, and even everyday devices can benefit from looking at UI design as a form of literacy. Grounded in the work of literacy experts, aspects of UI design were examined in literacy terms such as language, genre, Discourse, and cultural model, and re-classified into a specification for UI implementation practices. The specification maps user operations to various interface functions based on the user’s identity. These mappings can then be scored and used in equations to find optimal UI sequences for each process or for each user-community. Social networking is an ever-increasing part of our lives, making our identities more public and more projected than ever before. Communities of practice and user feedback are more accessible to product and service providers. This data should be used to make good design decisions for our technology.
This new perspective on UI design analyzes not only what is intuitive, but how designers, engineers, and programmers can look at cultural models to make UI decisions. Some of these decisions can be user-specific customizations, re-skinning/re-branding of interfaces to match specific user needs, marketing strategies, and delivering competency-based instructions. Whether designing a flight simulator, a website, or a toaster, this specification will provide a means to expand the scope of the data available for designing a UI while also grounding it in pedagogy.