L13 (March 8): Principles of Direct Manipulation

“Direct Manipulation” is a design paradigm that underlies most of the graphical interfaces you use: in direct manipulation interfaces, objects have visual representations that are continuous in time; you can direct perform operations on those objects and the results of the operations are instantly visible.  The operations are also reversible.  Command line interfaces are one example of interfaces that do not fit in the direct manipulation paradigm.  We will talk about the history, principles and key techniques of effective direct manipulation interfaces.  A number of the concepts we will mention in this class you have already seen in our Hall of Fame/Shame exercises.  The principles of direct manipulation are the bedrock of interaction design.  You will build on them in as you design the interfaces for your final projects.

Required prep (post your written response before class):

  • Watch the highlights of the Mother of All Demos (parts 1 through 9).  Total of ~24 minutes. Things will get a little slow during parts 5 and 6, but then they will pick up again in 7 and 8.


Lecture Slides

About the author: Krzysztof Gajos

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