Graphical user interfaces

Lanter’s assessment of user-center graphical user interfaces and the applicability of those graphical systems to GIS is quite accurate in that visualization makes GIS is easier to understand, learn and use. I believe this relates to how the evolution of the human brain adapted to man’s ever changing environment, in that it responded by creating a set of built in steps to learning, understanding and using tool, through touch and sight. To elaborate, the user-centered graphical interface is the connection of the GIS “tool” and the user. As the brain of a person is designed to see and expect a result in response to an action, the interface plays a major role in understanding; humans learn through observation of results from their actions. In essence, humans create logical connections through pathways, which humans can then observe and deduce the outcome of other similar actions.

The concepts of interlinking both the user and the system, through the system interface and the user model, as Lanter writes, seems to be the best way of linking man’s natural interaction tendencies with the computer’s unnatural approach. Even so, the design of the interface still may cause problems as man’s “instinctive” approach to the use of the interface may limit the function of the interface. Therefore, I agree with Lancer that input from the users to interface designers is essential to resolving the issue of result complexity and use with user simplicity. One thing that may resolve the problem of complexity and user ease, may be to design an interface that allows the use of both traditional and graphical interfaces (i.e. Graphical to start and learn, and traditional for the advanced user once they have mastered the basics).




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