Although there are different types of input UX designers only need to focus on designing the information that users will explicitly enter into the system.

Quiz: Building Blocks of User Interaction >>> Although there are different types of input UX designers only need to focus on designing the information that users will explicitly enter into the system >>> UX Design: From Concept to Prototype


Modern interactive applications often use a broad range of inputs, including sensor data and data from other applications, in order to minimize how much data users have to enter manually. A UX designer needs to design the full range of system inputs, including deciding which passive inputs will be used, when, and how



Pull output is information that the user accesses at will within an interactive application. Since the user has to request this information, he/she remains in control of when the information will be accessed.


Except for GPS, which is a type of sensor input, text fields, widgets, voice input, and a range of other GUI elements such as menus and icons are all types of user-entered input.


System state refers to the current configuration of all inputs, variables, and rules the system uses to operate.


How granular the inputted data needs to be is an important constraint when designing system inputs. For instance, if a designer was designing a diet tracking app that needed to provide users with feedback about the number of calories they consumed each day, an input that used the phone camera to let users take images of what they eat and drink would probably not work.


Designers need to think about a range of issues when designing outputs, including the nature of the information they are trying to present, the context in which the information will be accessed, user’s knowledge base, user motivations, and so on. All of these considerations are part of designing effective user interactions.


Mode (such as ringer on or off on a mobile phone) often changes how a number of things in the system operate. Turning off the ringer on a mobile phone, for instance, replaces audio output with haptic output for any type of notification (phone calls, text messages, push notifications, etc.) as well as silences the sounds in applications themselves (e.g., sound effect when sending a message).

If an application asks the user to take a picture (e.g., a diet app that uses images of what the user eats to track his/her diet, taking of the picture is an active, user-supplied input. Images in the user’s photo library can also accessed by an application passively, much like calendar events can, but taking of a picture is an active user input.

By relying on sensing and user modeling, designers can determine decision rules for when to push content to users enabling them to deliver this content when users most need it and are most receptive to engaging with it. For instance, a to-do list application can alert the user when he/she is near a location where the user can accomplish one of his/her tasks, such as picking something up at a drug store.

Even though there are several research projects that have tried to use smell as output, olfactory output has not yet been broadly adopted in UX design, mainly due to current technical limitations.