AT&D #59. Commands and Shortcuts

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What are the contributions or advantages of command menus, keyboard shortcuts and voice commands to relive the burden of memorizing command formats? 

Memorizing command formats shouldn’t be the norm when it comes to navigating through and with technology. With that being said, having command menus, keyboard shortcuts and voice commands at one’s arsenal not only can help users avoid memorizing the format but also work fluently within the technology as a learned skill or as secondhand language where memory is more easier to maintain.

First and foremost, command menus (or simply menus) are a graphical control element within a computing interface that allows a user to enter into a list of selections (of commands and applications) which can be used as a place of memory (for example, the start menu of Windows’ OS which has the familiar drop-down lists of applications and tools for a user to choose from).

Keyboard shortcuts such as “control c/control v” are extremely helpful for users who primarily type as they subsitute for pointing and clicking/right-clicking for copying and pasting text, among other commands. Not only is it quick, but it is also less work to use command keys (which combine controls to form actions) over actions that only perform a few to only one control.

Lastly, with voice commands, especially with the advent of Siri for the iPhone and its clones from other devices, they are increasingly becoming helpful and even are starting to substitute for typing in commands as they are activated vocally. Yes, there are bugs to fix and issues to be ironed out but utilizing commands by voice instead of by hand/ hand gestures is a step up from memorizing shortcuts and taking the time to navigate through menus.

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