2 Interface Design Easy to use? Easy to understand? Easy to learn?
3 Interface Design lack of consistency too much memorization no guidance / help no context sensitivity poor response Arcane/unfriendly Typical Design Errors
4 Golden Rules Place the user in control Reduce the users memory load Make the interface consistent
5 Place the User in Control Mandel defines a number of design principles that allow the user to maintain control: Define interaction modes in a way that does not force a user into unnecessary or undesired actions. Provide for flexible interaction. Allow user interaction to be interruptible and undoable. Streamline interaction as skill levels advance and allow the interaction to be customized. Hide technical internals from the casual user. Design for direct interaction with objects that appear on the screen.
6 Reduce the Users Memory Load Reduce demand on short-term memory. Establish meaningful defaults. Define shortcuts that are intuitive. The visual layout of the interface should be based on a real world metaphor. Disclose information in a progressive fashion.
7 Make the Interface Consistent Allow the user to put the current task into a meaningful context. Maintain consistency across a family of applications. If past interactive models have created user expectations, do not make changes unless there is a compelling reason to do so.
8 User Interface Design Models User model establishes a profile of all end users of the system.Users can be categorized as Novices. No syntactic knowledge2 of the system and little semantic knowledge3 of the application or computer usage in general. Knowledgeable, intermittent users. Reasonable semantic knowledge of the application but relatively low recall of syntactic information necessary to use the interface. Knowledgeable, frequent users. Good semantic and syntactic knowledge that often leads to the "power-user syndrome"; that is, individuals who look for shortcuts and abbreviated modes of interaction. Design model a design realization of the user model Mental model (system perception) is the image of the system that end- users carry in their heads. Implementation model the interface look and feel coupled with supporting information that describe interface syntax and semantics
10 The user interface design process encompasses four distinct framework activities: 1. User, task, and environment analysis and modeling 2. Interface design: The goal of interface design is to define a set of interface objects and actions that enable a user to perform all defined tasks in a manner that meets every usability goal defined for the system. 3. Interface construction: The implementation activity normally begins with the creation of a prototype that enables usage scenarios to be evaluated. 4. Interface validation: Validation focuses on (1) the ability of the interface to implement every user task correctly, to accommodate all task variations, and to achieve all general user requirements; (2) the degree to which the interface is easy to use and easy to learn; (3) the users acceptance of the interface as a useful tool in their work.
11 Interface Analysis Interface analysis means understanding (1) the people (end-users) who will interact with the system through the interface; (2) the tasks that end-users must perform to do their work, (3) the content that is presented as part of the interface (4) the environment in which these tasks will be conducted.
12 User Analysis Following set of questions will help the interface designer better understand the users of a system: Are users trained professionals, technician, clerical, or manufacturing workers? What level of formal education does the average user have? Are the users capable of learning from written materials or have they expressed a desire for classroom training? Are users expert typists or keyboard phobic? What is the age range of the user community? Will the users be represented predominately by one gender?
How are users compensated for the work they perform? Do users work normal office hours or do they work until the job is done? Is the software to be an integral part of the work users do or will it be used only occasionally? What is the primary spoken language among users? What are the consequences if a user makes a mistake using the system? Are users experts in the subject matter that is addressed by the system? Do users want to know about the technology the sits behind the interface? 13
14 Task Analysis and Modeling Goal of task analysis is to answers the following questions … – What work will the user perform in specific circumstances? – What tasks and subtasks will be performed as the user does the work? – What specific problem domain objects will the user manipulate as work is performed? – What is the sequence of work tasksthe workflow? – What is the hierarchy of tasks?
Use-cases define basic interaction Task elaboration refines interactive tasks Object elaboration identifies interface objects (classes) Workflow analysis defines how a work process is completed when several people (and roles) are involved Hierarchical representation hierarchy is derived by step wise elaboration of each task identified for the user. 15
16 Analysis of Display Content Are different types of data assigned to consistent geographic locations on the screen (e.g., photos always appear in the upper right hand corner)? Can the user customize the screen location for content? Is proper on-screen identification assigned to all content? If a large report is to be presented, how should it be partitioned for ease of understanding? Will mechanisms be available for moving directly to summary information for large collections of data. Will graphical output be scaled to fit within the bounds of the display device that is used? How will color to be used to enhance understanding? How will error messages and warning be presented to the user?
17 Interface Design Steps 1. Using information developed during interface analysis define interface objects and actions (operations). 2. Define events (user actions) that will cause the state of the user interface to change. Model this behavior. 3. Depict each interface state as it will actually look to the end-user. 4.Indicate how the user interprets the state of the system from information provided through the interface.
18 Interface Design Patterns Patterns are available for – The complete User Interface – Page layout – Forms and input – Tables – Direct data manipulation – Navigation – Searching – Page elements – e-Commerce
19 Design Issues Response time Help facilities Error handling Menu and command labeling Application accessibility Internationalization
20 1.Response time: System response time is the primary complaint for many interactive applications. System response time is measured from the point at which the user performs some control action until the software responds with desired output or action. System response time has two important characteristics: length and variability. Length of system response is too long, user frustration and stress is the inevitable result. Variability refers to the deviation from average response time, and in many ways, it is the most important response time characteristic. 2. Help facilities: Almost every user of an interactive, computer- based system requires help now and then. Two different types of help facilities are encountered: integrated and add-on 3. Error handling: Error messages and warnings are "bad news" delivered to users of interactive systems when something has gone awry. At their worst, error messages and warnings impart useless or misleading information and serve only to increase user frustration.