Searching for the optimal menu based user interface using HCI concepts

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Taylor, Stephen
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BSc in Computer Science
Dublin Business School
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Since research began on user interfaces the overall goal of the developers was to find the ultimate interface that met all of the users needs and requirements and to this day they have never reached their goal. In all likelihood the ultimate interface will never be achieved. Therefore why does a huge amount of hardware and software organisations invest their resources in attempting to achieve this seemingly unachievable goal. The answer is simple. Competition. The importance placed on the user interface is as equivalent to the importance of the functionality of the system. The menu based interface is a very common and vital component to many of the systems currently in the market place and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. This paper takes a look at the concepts and principles of Human Computer Interaction that would need to be considered when searching for the optimal menu based interface. Further to this the paper examines the history and relevance of both User Interfaces as a whole and Human Computer Interaction and concludes with the next generation of user interfaces that we may be using in the not too distant future.