Step 17 Graphics User Interfaces

A user-friendly graphics user interface is usually present on all computer-based simulators. It is an interface that allows the user to navigate through training modules and select and adjust features of the simulator by pressing graphical buttons, pulling down menus, adjusting sliders and/or by entering data in designated fields.

An intuitive interface can be crucial for efficient utilization of a simulator. The graphics user interface should allow the user to easily access simulation didactics, and cognitive training for issues related to the psychomotor/visual-spatial tasks to be completed. (recommended at the Conference on Surgical Errors, Washington, D.C., 2003). This embeds a curriculum, allows the simulator to be used independent of a mentor, and allows for more accurate characteristic of the subject's performance. Some commonly used modalities for graphics user interface design include Microsoft Foundation Class, Redmond, Washington (MFC environment-typical windows buttons/menus) and HTML-based interaction common in most websites.

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