Cover Image
close this book Expanding access to science and technology
close this folder Session 3: New technologies and media for information retrieval and transfer
close this folder Multimedia technology: A design challenge
View the document Abstract
View the document 1. Introduction
View the document 2. What are communication media and how do they differ?
View the document 3. Are human beings aware of the capabilities of different media?
View the document 4. What can the technology do now?
View the document 5. User centred or design centred?
View the document 6. The PROMISE multimedia interface project
View the document 7. How does one design a multimedia interface?
View the document 8. Some initial guidelines
View the document 9. Conclusions
View the document 10. Acknowledgements
View the document References

9. Conclusions

I hope that this paper has shown that the key issue facing multimedia technology implementers is not primarily a technical one (although technical performance is important) but a design one. We need to know where and when particular media combinations will enable us to achieve our goals more effectively. Because the advantages (or disadvantages) of multimedia usage depend upon the tasks being performed, it is difficult to set up precise laboratory studies and apply the results directly to real life situations. The answer here is probably more longitudinal studies in real situations. However, we are now reasonably confident that our list of guidelines will eventually extend into a methodology.

There are issues that have not been addressed in this paper. For example, dynamic allocation of multimedia resources raises major issues about interface consistency. We believe that, provided the representations change only occasionally and only in critical resource situations, this need not be a serious problem. However, this is a matter for debate.