There are dozens of user interfaces that allow a human operator to control a machine or device, some of which include a natural user interface, kinetic user interface, tangible user interface, direct voice interface and human machine interface (HMI). However, a lesser-known type is an adaptive user interface. As the name suggests, it’s designed to “adapt” to the user’s needs, thereby offering a more personalized experience. To better understand adaptive user interfaces, including their advantages and disadvantages, keep reading.

Overview of Adaptive User Interfaces

An adaptive user interface is a user interface that changes its design, controls, information and other elements according to the user’ needs. One user may see a completely different interface than another user. This is because adaptive user interfaces automatically change to create an optical experience for the user.

Adaptive User Interface Pros

The primary advantage of adaptive user interfaces is their ability to adapt to the user’s needs.  While most user interfaces provide all users with the same experience, adaptive user interfaces change to create a custom, personalized experienced. As a result, they’ve become a popular choice in the medical industry. Hospitals and doctors, for example, use them to provide a customized experience. A doctor will see one type of interface with more access and controls, whereas a patient may see a different types of interface with limited information and controls.

Another advantage of adaptive user interfaces is security. Since they only show information that’s relevant or essential to the user, there’s a lower risk of data breach. Again, this makes them an excellent choice in the medical industry and other industries that store or transmit sensitive data. A medical practice can set up a computer with an adaptive user interface to prevent unauthorized individuals from accessing sensitive data that’s otherwise protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996.

Adaptive User Interface Cons

But there are also some disadvantages to adaptive user interfaces. Designing them, for example, is a more time-consuming and methodical process than other, non-adaptive user interfaces. Subsequently, this increases the cost of adaptive user interfaces. If you a company is on a budget, it may choose a different user interface because of its high cost.

When designing an adaptive user interface, manufacturers must know and understanding users’ unique needs. Only then can they create an interface that automatically adapts.