Procedural Interfaces

Dr. Guy Boy

A procedural interface supports task execution and is an alternative to a conventional desktop interface for computer appliances. It includes less interface objects such as menus, buttons and displays. Previous work has shown that procedures and checklists are seldom used when they are not appropriately situated (I will provide examples in aeronautics). This lecture proposes a way to integrate them within the user interface. A procedural interface is context-dependent and supports three kinds of cognitive functions: anticipation, interaction and recovery. It enables users to concentrate on the task they are performing, avoiding unnecessary additional burden that may be induced from the use of conventional desktop interfaces. Furthermore, users usually look for information redundancy consciously or unconsciously in order to maintain cognitive stability of the interaction. A procedural interface integrates simplicity, redundancy, cognitive stability and the underlying cognitive support. An example will be provided that includes the use of color-coding and a task-driven organization of interface objects.