Visual Definition of Interface

by January 8, 2004

In a way, an interface is a filter of information. That information can reside in a machine or it can exist in the natural world. The interface controls what information you can get, how you can get it, and what you can do with it. That’s a lot of responsibility. This diagram illustrates the role of the interface as a translator or filter:

“The most dynamic and innovative region of the modern world reveals itself to us only through the anonymous middlemen of interface design." -Steven Johnson, Interface Culture

"To have informational value, data must be organized, transformed, and presented in a way that gives it meaning." -Richard Saul Wurman