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User-friendly multiservice broadband terminals: Applications and design considerations

: Prussog, A.

Istituto Superiore Poste e Telecommunicazioni, Roma:
Human Factors in Telecommunications. 13th International Symposium. Proceedings
Rom, 1990
International Symposium on Human Factors in Telecommunications (HFT) <13, 1990, Torino>
Fraunhofer HHI ()
broadband networks; human factors; interactive terminals; interactive video; user interfaces; videotelephony; user-friendliness; multiservice broadband terminals; service applications; design; user interface; direct-manipulation interface; generic-functions interface; interactive TV; interaktives Fernsehen

The author draws attention to future broadband multiservice terminals' new types of service applications which put special demands on the design of the user interface. She reports on human factors studies with an experimental terminal. Two versions of the interface, one based on 'direct-manipulation' interfaces and the other on the principle of 'generic functions', were tested and compared with a conventional interface. Results indicated that both new interface versions were superior, especially with regard to applications of high complexity. The direct-manipulation interface proved advantageous in acquainting untrained users with the multiservice terminal. Mainly for practical reasons, the generic-functions interface was rated to be more user-friendly when it comes to long-term use.