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Chapter One. Background > Interface Definition

1-1. Interface Definition

Call our USA number above and test your stamina against the incredible frustration provided by our voice mail system.

Note at the bottom of an advertisement for Simple-brand shoes

In this book, I usually shorten human-machine interface or human-computer interface to user interface or simply interface. Many people assume that the term user interface refers specifically to today's graphical user interfaces (GUIs), complete with windows and mouse-driven menus. For example, an article in Mobile Office magazine said, “Before too long, you may not have to worry about an interface at all: You may find yourself simply speaking to your computer.” As I pointed out in response, a voice-controlled system may have no windows, but neither do telephone voice-response systems, and they often have hellaciously bad interfaces. The way that you accomplish tasks with a product—what you do and how it responds—that's the interface. (See also Raskin 1993.)


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