The 21st Century User Interface Issues in Interface Design for Student Systems in the New Millennium


The phenomenal emergence of HTML over the Internet has triggered a revolution in accessibility. A university's admissions guides, calendars, course schedules and exam schedules are now routinely delivered electronically to the entire university community and beyond. Ten years ago developers installed systems for small groups of expert users. Any shortcomings in interface design could be overcome with sufficient training and user manuals. We still have to support a rich and complex Windows interface for expert users. But now we are also expected to support a number of other interfaces: lightweight Windows interfaces, HTML forms and also interfaces that are accessible to those with disabilities. While we may not be specialists in interface design and usability, we do have to develop a certain level of expertise regardless of whether we are evaluating software or developing our own. This paper examines current trends in different areas of interface design: HTML, Windows, accessibility aids, and speech. These different interfaces are examined in the context of the redevelopment of student systems at University of British Columbia.

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