We obtain information through the five senses, sight, hearing, smell, taste and feel. Most computer interfaces confine themselves to the first two, although responsiveness to touch is important in the user's interaction with a computer.
The most important think to be aware of about the senses is that they can be overloaded. The interface needs to present the information in carefully sized pieces. For example it has been found that with current displays people manage better reading text with short paragraphs.
Each sense has an associated bandwidth (data rate). For vision humans have a bandwidth of about 600kilobits/sec. A static display on an SVGA is 2.5megabits. Hearing works at 10kilobits/sec, audi CD's store data at 640 kilobits/sec.
It follows that we can present information much faster than it can be processed by the user. (Uncompressed photo quality resolution storage of three full length feature films would exhaust the memory address space of a 64 bit computer.) Design to present what is most important centrally.
The process of information presentation has the following components
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Last Changed: 3 May 1995