Exploring voice and visual interfaces

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I have a firm belief that the historical internet-era design interface paradigm is beginning to change. It is moving away from purely the visual, be it mobile-friendly responsive, or via static navigation and towards something more intelligent, immersive and instant.

In the coming few years publishing platforms will feature both traditional menu-based navigation and a flexible voice-activated interactive navigation cross-platform.

The key principles of the interface design are as described in the sections below:

Structure

The design should organise the user interface purposefully, in meaningful and useful ways based on clear, consistent models that are apparent and recognisable to users, putting related things together and separating unrelated things, differentiating dissimilar things and making similar things resemble one another. The structure principle is concerned with overall user interface architecture

Simplicity

The interfaces design should make simple, common tasks easy, communicating clearly and simply in the user’s own language, and providing good shortcuts that are meaningfully related to longer procedures

Visibility

The design should make all needed options and materials for a given task visible without distracting the user with extraneous or redundant information. Good designs don’t overwhelm users with alternatives or confuse with unneeded information.

Feedback

The design of the platforms interface should keep users informed of actions or interpretations, changes of state or condition, and errors or exceptions that are relevant and of interest to the user through clear, concise, and unambiguous language familiar to users.

Tolerance

The interface design should be flexible and tolerant, reducing the cost of mistakes and misuse by allowing undoing and redoing, while also preventing errors wherever possible by tolerating varied inputs and sequences and by interpreting all reasonable actions.

Reuse

The design of the interface should reuse internal and external components and behaviours, maintaining consistency with purpose rather than merely arbitrary consistency, thus reducing the need for users to rethink and remember.

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