User Intefaces

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What do you prefer when using a device?

I only need a keyboard and mouse
28
80%
Touch and speech are definitely the way to go
1
3%
Rabbits
6
17%
 
Total votes: 35

Ansuz
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User Intefaces

Postby Ansuz » Mon Apr 29, 2013 12:13 am UTC

This is being done for a school project on natural user interfaces

There is lots of movement nowadays on shifting devices from mice/keyboard/keypad/controller interfaces to other 'more natural' interfaces such as touch, pen, and speech. Windows 8 computers commonly include touchscreeens. Apple's has its successful voice recognition software, Siri. Game consoles have added motion and speech controls to games.

Some hate it. Some love it. I have friends who refuse to use anything but a keyboard. I love pen input. How do you feel about it?

EvanED
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Re: User Intefaces

Postby EvanED » Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:36 am UTC

Touch and voice is good for some things -- and even more importantly, in some situations (e.g. in a bus or plane, it's more convenient to use touch for things like web browsing, even when comparing to trackpads or nipple mice or whatever). But mouse/keyboard are better at many others, and when touch/voice are bad they are really terrible while when mouse/keyboard are bad the difference is not nearly as big.

So speaking generally -- e.g. if I had to pick one interface to be used for everything going forward -- it'd be mouse and keyboard without a doubt.

KnightExemplar
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Re: User Intefaces

Postby KnightExemplar » Mon Apr 29, 2013 4:47 am UTC

Next-generation controls, as rare as they are... need to be represented here.

* Infrared Pointer (Wii / PS Move)
* Accelerometers / Compass (Wii, Android, iPhone)
* Camera (Kinect / PS Move / Face Recognition Login... ie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL7DE ... 4-7bBywUSk)
* Leap (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3b4w749Tud8)
* Myo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oWu9TFJjHaM)
* Active Stylus (Surface Pro / Wacom Tablet)

Furthermore: Touch can be broken down into Resistive (Nintendo DS / 3DS) and Capacitive (iPhone). I've frankly found resistive screens to be much more accurate... although Capacitive touch allows for very hard surfaces to be used. Capacitive technology is behind the iPhone's glass screen... which is useful for not getting your phone scratched.

Older ones also should be discussed.
* Dual Analog (typical controllers today)
** Discussion of the antiquated "Tank Controls" ?? (Like in the older Pod Racer game)... compared to the more modern FPS setup?
** Even with modern FPS games, discussion of inverted vs default controls.
* Every Konomi arcade game (DDR, Pop'n Music, Jubeat... to name a few)
* Lightguns (Duck Hunt, but also includes Silent Scope)
* Joysticks

----------------------

Even if we stick with the normal computer, we got lots of little things we can talk about.

The Mouse has evolved quite a bit. I remember a time when Trackballs were typical (or maybe, it was just the people I hung out with back then). Nonetheless, 3-button mice, and eventually scroll wheels were invented. Today, all sorts of exotic mice exist...

Keyboards have mainly gotten cheaper over time. Only gamers seemed to have cared for the more expensive features on mechanical keyboards.


----------------------

To answer your question... Keyboard and Mouse as primary, at least on "producer" devices. "Consumer" devices (tablets / smartphones) have found a niche where inaccurate controls can exist... but I can't think of producing anything useful with a tablet. (typing is much much slower, and capacitive touch is far less accurate than a mouse. Hell, capacitive touch is simply less responsive than resistive touch found in the DS / 3DS systems)

So the question is, what am I using, and for what purpose? Pure Touch has been quite fine on reading on my Nook for example, but I have yet to see a successful "action" game using capacitive touch controls that requires more than two inputs. Capacitive controls seem good enough for temple run, but even Osu! is easier to play on a computer than on an inaccurate capacitive screen.

More accuracy (ie: resistive screen with Nintendo DS resistive screen, or an active stylus) helps those kinds of games out. Even a simple game like Osu requires more accuracy than what is delivered with current capacitive touch controls that are in vogue with smartphone / tablet vendors.
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WanderingLinguist
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Re: User Intefaces

Postby WanderingLinguist » Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:58 pm UTC

It really depends what I'm doing.

I couldn't imagine coding without a real keyboard. I also do some translation work. I use a Cherry mechanical keyboard with blue switches. I do a lot of typing, and I'm very picky. Even just doing a lot of input from my laptop keyboard feels uncomfortable. Touch for text input, at least with current technology, is out of the question for me.

For graphics work, it's a Wacom tablet (active stylus) or nothing. (Well, okay, a mouse is nicer for a few tasks, but mostly I stick to the stylus).

For more of the work that I do, a touch or voice interface would be a disaster. I even bought a Galaxy Note II specifically because it has an active stylus (the difference is really significant).

Of course, I do use touch daily when texting on my phone. Its okay for short messages. I also find it quite sufficient for looking up Chinese characters in a dictionary (if I don't know the reading). But if I end up doing any serious tasks on my mobile device, I go for the stylus (or wait until I'm near a computer with a real keyboard). The convenience of touch is just that -- it's convenient. It's there, and ready to go. For short, quick tasks, it's nice. For serious tasks, it's really not suitable.

To be quite honest, I miss my old cell phone with a real physical dialing pad. Specifically with the way Korean cell phone text input works, if you have twelve actual (tactile) buttons, it's very easy to text at incredible speeds without looking at the screen (even as a non-native speaker). Can't do that with touch. Unfortunately, all of the smartphones with phyiscal keyboards these days seems to have FULL physical keyboards. I just want a physical dialing pad (the buttons are larger that way) with nice tactile feedback. Ah, well.

Voice input -- I use it about twice a month. Mostly to set alarms and reminders. It's still just way too primitive to use on a regular basis.

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scarecrovv
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Re: User Intefaces

Postby scarecrovv » Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:05 am UTC

I have tremendous respect for well designed keyboard interfaces: vim, xmonad, and pentadactyl are my three favorite pieces of software. In addition to having dozens of physical buttons literally at your fignertips, they lend themselves wonderfully to customization and scripting. I also love clit mice, as I don't have to move my hands from the keyboard to use them, and good ones are extremely precise. Physical mice are a good one handed interface, which makes them good for relaxed use, or when the other hand is otherwise engaged. Touch can be good for some things, such as casual web browsing, but terrible for getting real work done. Any voice interface I've ever used has been unspeakably clumsy (no pun intended). I don't have much experience with the more exotic interfaces like the leap motion thing, but they generally don't look as though I could rest my hands on the desk while using them, which sounds like a tremendous disadvantage.

cphite
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Re: User Intefaces

Postby cphite » Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:12 pm UTC

Ansuz wrote:This is being done for a school project on natural user interfaces

There is lots of movement nowadays on shifting devices from mice/keyboard/keypad/controller interfaces to other 'more natural' interfaces such as touch, pen, and speech. Windows 8 computers commonly include touchscreeens. Apple's has its successful voice recognition software, Siri. Game consoles have added motion and speech controls to games.

Some hate it. Some love it. I have friends who refuse to use anything but a keyboard. I love pen input. How do you feel about it?


Touch is fine for web surfing and stuff like that; I can't imagine using it to do actual work. For one thing, my monitors are just out of arms reach - having to lean forward all of the time to do anything would get old very quick. Also, dunno about others but I find a mouse to be far more precise than touch - a lot of the stuff I do involves making fine adjustments to visual elements; I can't imagine doing that with touch.

I don't care for speech interfaces. Siri is annoying, especially if you're around other people.

For me, the keyboard and mouse is by far the best interface available for the way I use a computer. Touch works fine for a smartphone or a tablet where all you're really doing is consuming content; but when it comes to actually working (coding, development, etc) I have yet to see a touch interface that even comes close to being good enough.

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ahammel
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Re: User Intefaces

Postby ahammel » Tue Apr 30, 2013 6:24 pm UTC

cphite wrote:For me, the keyboard and mouse is by far the best interface available for the way I use a computer. Touch works fine for a smartphone or a tablet where all you're really doing is consuming content; but when it comes to actually working (coding, development, etc) I have yet to see a touch interface that even comes close to being good enough.
Tablets, phones and so forth are where a touch interface makes sense. It drives me crazy to see desktop environments imitating or using touch interfaces. Phones don't use that UI because it's the best in all situations, they use it because it's the best that can be done when all you have by way of a pointer is your clumsy ape fingers.
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Iranon
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Re: User Intefaces

Postby Iranon » Sun May 05, 2013 11:47 am UTC

Generally, I prefer keyboard and mouse: Precise and giving tactile feedback. Text-centric input (which tends to come with keyboard-centric input) can also mean powerful opportunities for scripting.

Where precision isn't needed and direct manipulation feels natural, touch may be useful if we figure out the ergonomics (a single flat touchscreen is either uncomfortable to look at or uncomfortable to manipulate).
A well-designed tiling WM taking good advantage of touch input seems promising; current touch interfaces seem awfully limited.
Not so keen on speech since speaking is more strenuous than typing and has some limitations. Pen input could be interesting once we've established a good shorthand system.

It'll be interesting to see the alternatives evolve, but keyboard and mouse are very good and benefit from a long time of refinement and standardisation. For now and for me, the old ways work better.
LEGO won't be ready for the average user until it comes pre-assembled, in a single unified theme, and glued together so it doesn't come apart.

KnightExemplar
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Re: User Intefaces

Postby KnightExemplar » Sun May 05, 2013 8:05 pm UTC

The main problem really comes down to the inaccuracy of Capacitive touch screens. Modern touch-based controls are very very cheap to make, but similarly have awful resolution. Just compare playing on a tiny 3DS screen: 2.25 inches by 2.75 inches. (Or a 3.5 inch diagonal). I can't imagine playing Elite Beat Agents on a modern smartphone. The precision needed to play that game is obviously too much for smartphones, but it was perfectly fine on a much smaller Nintendo DS screen.

Its an issue of accuracy. iPhone / Android are designed to be used with inaccurate touch controls, and are therefore limited.
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