HCI Interfaces

For our Human-Computer Interaction class, we were all asked to find a couple interfaces (of any kind), take a picture of them, and discuss their effectiveness and intuitiveness. So here they are:

The stovetop interface in my apartment on campus

This interface I find very frustrating (and a little dangerous). First off, the dials for the rear burners are no higher up or further back than the dials for the front. The only indication for which is which is an overly complicated image with the word ‘rear’ or ‘front’ printed very small near the individual dials. It might sound silly to some, but even now I have a hard time figuring out which dial to use (at least harder than it should be!) and will sometimes choose the wrong one without noticing. Not safe. Also, the “Hot Surface” light is off as long as every singly burner is off, regardless of if any of them are actually still hot. This is silly, dangerous, and seems quite easy to fix.

Our table/container “interface” at the VRAC

My second interface is a little strange, but I chose it to demonstrate just how wide-reaching the term “interface” can be. This interface functions as both a table and container for the REU’s snacks in the office (yes, those are a thing. wonderfully). The idea is that it can keep some snacks inside while keeping the remainder off the floor. It works in theory of course, but currently the container is sitting behind me open with the extra snack boxes sitting on the ground nearby, and this is now its usual setup (the above picture was taken a few weeks ago, near the start of the program). I think this goes to show that even the most simple interfaces deal with the same issues you might find in more complex interfaces. We might not pay them much attention, but they’re there and we interact with them all the time perhaps even without noticing.

Leave a Reply