A toggle switch is a graphical control element that allows the user to make a choice between two mutually exclusive states (such as on/off). Originally toggle switches were used primary in touchscreen-based user interfaces, but they have later become commonplace in desktop and web applications.
Toggle switches have a similar function as checkboxes, but unlike checkboxes, interacting with a toggle switch usually has an immediate effect on the application or system.
Early research on touchscreen interfaces has identified usability issues with toggle switches.A common problem is ambiguous state indication: for example does the label "on" indicate the current state of the switch or the resulting state after interacting with it. Communicating affordance can also be difficult: for example should the user tap or slide the switch to change its state.
The graphical user interface is a form of user interface that allows users to interact with electronic devices through graphical icons and audio indicator such as primary notation, instead of text-based user interfaces, typed command labels or text navigation. GUIs were introduced in reaction to the perceived steep learning curve of command-line interfaces (CLIs), which require commands to be typed on a computer keyboard.
In the industrial design field of human-computer interaction, a user interface (UI) is the space where interactions between humans and machines occur. The goal of this interaction is to allow effective operation and control of the machine from the human end, whilst the machine simultaneously feeds back information that aids the operators' decision-making process. Examples of this broad concept of user interfaces include the interactive aspects of computer operating systems, hand tools, heavy machinery operator controls, and process controls. The design considerations applicable when creating user interfaces are related to, or involve such disciplines as, ergonomics and psychology.
A web application is application software that runs on a web server, unlike computer-based software programs that are run locally on the operating system (OS) of the device. Web applications are accessed by the user through a web browser with an active internet connection. These applications are programmed using a client–server modeled structure—the user ("client") is provided services through an off-site server that is hosted by a third-party. Examples of commonly-used web applications include: web-mail, online retail sales, online banking, and online auctions.
A checkbox is a GUI widget that permits the user to make a binary choice, i.e. a choice between one of two possible mutually exclusive options. For example, the user may have to answer 'yes' (checked) or 'no' on a simple yes/no question.
A touchscreen, or touch screen, is both an input and output device and normally layered on the top of an electronic visual display of an information processing system. The display is often an LCD or OLED display while the system is usually a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. A user can give input or control the information processing system through simple or multi-touch gestures by touching the screen with a special stylus or one or more fingers. Some touchscreens use ordinary or specially coated gloves to work while others may only work using a special stylus or pen. The user can use the touchscreen to react to what is displayed and, if the software allows, to control how it is displayed; for example, zooming to increase the text size.
A graphical widget in a graphical user interface is an element of interaction, such as a button or a scroll bar. Controls are software components that a computer user interacts with through direct manipulation to read or edit information about an application. User interface libraries such as Windows Presentation Foundation, GTK, and Cocoa, contain a collection of controls and the logic to render these.
An interactive kiosk is a computer terminal featuring specialized hardware and software that provides access to information and applications for communication, commerce, entertainment, or education.
VoiceOver is a screen reader built into Apple Inc.'s macOS, iOS, tvOS, watchOS, and iPod operating systems. By using VoiceOver, the user can access their Macintosh or iOS device based on spoken descriptions and, in the case of the Mac, the keyboard. The feature is designed to increase accessibility for blind and low-vision users, as well as for users with dyslexia.
Windows Aero is a design language introduced in the Windows Vista operating system. The changes made in the Aero interface affected many elements of the Windows interface, including the incorporation of a new look, along with changes in interface guidelines reflecting appearance, layout, and the phrasing and tone of instructions and other text in applications.
In computing, multi-touch is technology that enables a surface to recognize the presence of more than one point of contact with the surface at the same time. The origins of multitouch began at CERN, MIT, University of Toronto, Carnegie Mellon University and Bell Labs in the 1970s. CERN started using multi-touch screens as early as 1976 for the controls of the Super Proton Synchrotron. Capacitive multi-touch displays were popularized by Apple's iPhone in 2007. Plural-point awareness may be used to implement additional functionality, such as pinch to zoom or to activate certain subroutines attached to predefined gestures.
A touch user interface (TUI) is a computer-pointing technology based upon the sense of touch (haptics). Whereas a graphical user interface (GUI) relies upon the sense of sight, a TUI enables not only the sense of touch to innervate and activate computer-based functions, it also allows the user, particularly those with visual impairments, an added level of interaction based upon tactile or Braille input.
The Human–Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL) at the University of Maryland, College Park is an academic research center specializing in the field of human-computer interaction (HCI). Founded in 1983 by Ben Shneiderman, it is one of the oldest HCI labs of its kind. The HCIL conducts research on the design, implementation, and evaluation of computer interface technologies. Additional research focuses on the development of user interfaces and design methods. Primary activities of the HCIL include collaborative research, publication and the sponsorship of open houses, workshops and annual symposiums.
GNOME Shell is the graphical shell of the GNOME desktop environment starting with version 3, which was released on April 6, 2011. It provides basic functions like launching applications, switching between windows and is also a widget engine. GNOME Shell replaced GNOME Panel and some ancillary components of GNOME 2.
The HTC Evo 4G is a smartphone developed by HTC Corporation and marketed as Sprint's flagship Android smartphone, running on its WiMAX network. The smartphone launched on June 4, 2010 and was the first 4G enabled smartphone released in the United States.
The HTC Evo Shift 4G is a smartphone developed by HTC Corporation and marketed as the concurrent/sequel to Sprint's flagship Android smartphone, running on its 4G WiMAX network. The smartphone launched on January 9, 2011.
A lock screen is a computer user interface element used by various operating systems. They regulate immediate access to a device by requiring that the user perform a certain action in order to receive access, such as entering a password, using a certain button combination, or performing a certain gesture using a device's touchscreen. There are various authentication methods to get past the lock screen, with the most popular and common ones being personal identification numbers (PINs), the Android pattern lock, and biometrics.
Control Center is a feature of Apple Inc.'s iOS operating system, introduced as part of iOS 7, released on September 18, 2013. It gives iOS devices direct access to important settings for the device by swiping a finger up from the bottom of the display. It is similar to the SBSettings tweak for iOS jailbreaking. The Control Center was also added to Macs in macOS Big Sur, released on November 12, 2020.
Catherine Plaisant is a French/American research scientist at the University of Maryland, College Park and assistant director of research of the University of Maryland Human–Computer Interaction Lab.