HCI are the joystick and the steering wheel. The



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Screens, touchscreens:

one of the most taken-for-granted
items in our day to day life is the screen. You may think nothing of it as you
gaze at your social media dashboard or catch up on yesterday’s funny cat video,
but, screens play a massive and critical role in today’s society. I’ll start
off with the basics. A non-interactive screen is one that you use to view
things upon. You can’t do things by touching the surface like touchscreens and
it is often used alongside desktop computers and in-home media setups. The
touchscreen however, is solely operated by the users touch and functions
through a few ways. One way is through capacitive touch. This means that any
touch from a human (as we technically act as electrical conductors) will lead
to a disruption of the screens electro-static field. This registers as an input
and thus, interactivity. Another widely used type of touchscreen is a resistive
touchscreen. It consists of two or more layers that, when pressed, the outer
layer applies pressure to the inner layer that senses and registers that
pressure as an input. This type of screen can be used with any object as it
does not require an electrical charge to function.

Keyboards, headsets:

now onto the many forms of human
input. First, I’ll get the obvious out of the way… keyboards! Keyboards are
amazing devices whose design originated from that of the typewriter. The keys
on a keyboard each relate to a character that, when pressed, will display that
character on a document or in the search bar of a search engine. Each language
as its own specialised format in the way the keys are laid out.  A headset is an unassuming piece of
equipment, but it is a form of interface as it can be used to communicate with
other people and even perform actions asked of it (more on that later).

Joysticks, steering wheels:

Some other popular forms of interface
are the joystick and the steering wheel. The joystick, in its simplest form,
consists of a stick and two buttons. These would often control the players
movements and two in-game actions. It is the simplest means of control. The
steering wheel was found to be used in many games where the player would
control a car or vehicle of that nature. Simple versions would feature the
standard controller buttons for navigation and would also come with a set of pedals
that would control acceleration in game. More advanced versions would include
gear triggers on the underside of the steering wheel that would change the
gears of the vehicle being controlled. Games such as burnout on the original
Xbox would see use of the steering wheel.


Some of the other forms of input
include pads, pointing devices, and motion detectors. Motion detectors are an
odd one because as we have seen with the Kinect, they either work or they
don’t. they function by tracking a player’s movement and transferring that to
the in-game world. The HTC vive and Oculus rift also work in a similar way.
They use little sensors that you place somewhere up high in the room you are
in, pointed towards the play area and track special sensors on the headset and
controllers for the most accurate of translations. Pointing devices refers to a
selection of devices that are used to select and interact with the interface.
The most common pointing device used currently is the mouse. It’s operated
nowadays by a laser that detects movement but, used to run off a rubber ball
that would roll off of sensors and relay that as input. You are also able to
get devices similar to that of a laser pointer but instead of a laser, it
registers input in relation of the pointer on the screen. The term pad can have
multiple meanings. For example, you can have a trackpad, that tracks input from
your finger and translates that to the screen, or you can have something like a
dance pad. These are the ones used for games like dancedance revolution.




Command line, speech recognition

There are a bunch of interfaces in
use and that have been used in the past. However, it all started off with a
simple screen. Command line input relies on the users input through a keyboard in
order to issue a wide variety of commands. It is the simplest form of interface
and can still be found on all sorts of platforms. Speech recognition is integrated
in many modern day devices. From the google home device to smart bulbs that
react to your voice. Search engines such as google also have voice search
features, so that when a mic is connected, that can be used to search the web
with your voice.


There is a trend in many games,
something they all hold in common. This is, of course, their menu. The design
of the menu can act as a precursor for the game you are about to play in some
senses. If the menu is poorly laid out, then there is a chance that the game
might not meet your expectations. Many RPG games share a very similar menu
layout. Skyrim and oblivion are both renowned for their character creating as
it is easy to navigate the menu and create a character that suits your needs. As
mentioned before, there are good menus, and there are bad menus. While oblivion
had a good character menu, it had issues when ported over to the PC from
console. The menu was very controller-based and lacked any real adaptation for
PC, leaving the inventory menu quite small. It also lacks any menu shortcuts,
whereas games such as fallout: New Vegas utilized the function keys to bring up
different menus.

Sense orientated

With more and more people getting
into playing video games, it only makes sense that the games adapt with its
player base. Games that focus heavily on narrative often utilize subtitles as a
menu option to help those with hearing impairments. Games will more often than
not, offer colour correction options for those that suffer from different kinds
of colour blindness. Mobile games are also taking the path of adaptation. Games
such as into the dead allow their players to choose their control scheme that
suits them and that allows them to play the game most comfortably.

Data manipulation

Data manipulation refers to how
systems are able to store large amounts of insensitive data. In terms of how
this relates to interfaces, it refers as to how clean and organised the
interface is in relation to how much is going on behind the scenes and how much
data is being sent back and forth at the same time as the user operating the
program. This is particularly useful for those that have problems processing
info as quickly as other people.

Intelligent systems

Intelligent systems are put in place
to make life a lot easier on a day – to – day basis. Intelligent systems are
able to recognise voice commands and act accordingly, correct our spellings,
suggest music based on other media preferences as well as helping to control
some self-driving vehicles. Intelligent systems can adapt and overcome many
problems from watching us and act accordingly. They can even help us by using
their ability to adapt, and help with tasks that some of us wouldn’t be able to
complete through normal means.


People are finding more and more ways
of expressing themselves, so it makes sense that they’d do that through an
online persona when there are no other ways to do so aside from social media.
Nintendo and Microsoft are good examples of companies that took that initiative
with their player base, Nintendo with the Mii and Microsoft with their Xbox
avatars. You as the user have complete control over how they look as they are
meant to be a representation as to how you want to be portrayed in-game.



Human factors:


User experience is important for a
game to be successful. If a game is too difficult, like darksouls, you’re going
to find less people interested in your game then you might want. There are
certain games out there that require the user to have pre-acquired skill
instead of walking them through the game. CS: source is a good example of this
as it just has a server browser that houses more skilled players. Games such as
cuphead do a good job at walking their players through their games. In most
games, users that aren’t as skilled the game often have the choice to play the
game on a less difficulty setting, usually ranging from easy to very hard.
These option are either found on a home menu or in a gameplay menu.


With the massive and growing player
bases for games, there has to be some sort of integration that allows players
of all ability to enjoy their content. These can include content and options
for people with vision impairments, physical impairments and learning
difficulties. Big games such as the Call of duty franchise, battlefield and
overwatch all have colour-blind friendly options integrated into them. These
options change the colours of enemies and teammates in  order to help people distinguish between team
and enemy. Overwatch shifts the whole colour pallet depending on what kind of
colour-blindness you suffer from. Madden NFL 18 is a brilliant example of a game
that has taken disability into consideration, more specifically, for those that
are blind. There are systems that utilize touch and sound queues to help those
that are blind have a chance at playing the game. Puzzle games and “brain
training” games are brilliant for those with learning difficulties and it
allows them to train their lateral thinking and better themselves in the long


There are
certain demographics when it comes to interfaces. For example, the steering
wheel is less likely to be used by a younger person due to the complexity of
the controls, not to mention the pricing as well. The same thing goes for
equipment such as monitors, mice, keyboards and specialist equipment like a
graphics tablet. These things are just too expensive for a younger person to
afford, therefore, you often find older people using the equipment.




User interface
design principles: structured
(co-location of related elements); simple (user’s language, meaningful
shortcuts); visible (avoidance of distraction); feedback
(clarity, relevance); tolerance (undo, redo, inconsistent input); reusable
(uniformity, reduction of user memory process)



Structure to an interface is important as it makes navigation
easy for everyone, weather impaired or not. The structure principle dictates
that the designer must organise the UI purposefully and usefully based on clear
and concise models that are apparent and easily recognisable by the user.
Making sure that related things are put together and unrelated things are kept
separate and that it is apparent what is related and what is not. 


The simplicity principle is just that, to make sure that the
UI is simple and easy for the user to understand and navigate, communicating important
information in a way the user will understand, in their own language, whilst
providing adequate shortcuts for navigation


The visibility principle makes it so that all potential
options required by the user are available and clear without any obstruction or
distraction and that good designs don’t overwhelm the user. This is
particularly good for those with issues regarding info intake.


The feedback principle ensures that the designer keeps the
users informed of any changes and states that might be of use for the user to
know. It also ensures that the user is aware of any bugs or issues that may be
present within the program in a clear and concise fashion in a language the
user will understand


The tolerance principle makes sure that the design should be
flexible and tolerant. This means reducing the cost of any mistakes and
mi-happenings that may take place by allowing the undoing and redoing of any
actions that may lead to errors, while at the same time, reducing any errors by
tolerating various inputs and reasonable actions.


The reuse principle advises that the designer reuses any
internal and external components and behaviours that maintain consistency
within their purpose rather than just discarding them after use. This helps a
lot with planning and production of later projects as it means that there is
less for the designer to redo.