APS8: Using Standards to Increase Usability in Web ApplicationsPresentation Transcript
Using standards to increase usability in web applications
MCC. Mary Carmen Garduño Application Developer Manager Professor at the Information Systems Department
México: Tecnológico de Monterrey
Web pages at Tec of Monterrey
Usability : ISO 9241 and ISO 9126
Tecnologico de Monterrey
As of 2004, Tecnologico de Monterrey has 33 campi in Mexico and a Virtual University with presence in Mexico and other countries. It has an enrollment of 96,832 students - 28,986 in high school, 57,181 in undergraduate programs and 10,665 in graduate programs- and 8,253 faculty members, of whom 1,208 have doctoral degrees.
We have a web page developed by the Public Relations department and hosted by the IT department.
These pages have “templates” design en the PR.
We have several java developed in-house applications using WEB INTERFACES.
Web site: http://www.cem.itesm.mx
Usability and Interfaces
Usability means ease of learning and ease of use.
The HFES states (1957) that as humans we have to promote that devices and systems of all kinds, will meet human being characteristics.
As in the late 1970's and 1980's computers began to became accesible for many people. Non- expert users began to use computers so manufacturers started to think in creating products that were friendly to users.
Researchers and practitioners had make vital contributions to apply human factors to interface development.
The developing of web pages was first the job of software designers. The software designers main purpose was to make information systems that would meet the requirements of the clients, but without taking care of the look an feel.
At the beginning, formal education didn't encourage to join concepts of perception, psicology and web page development.
SW developers and usability
The main factors that make software engineers not aware of usability concepts were:
Old plain interfaces for end users
Old fashioned development techniques where functionality and time compliance were the main interests.
No contact with end users, only managers
No contact with business objectives or company goals
No real measurements of clients' “feelings” about systems
Do you remember? MAC System 1.1 Apple II desktop 1.1
And this? Windows 1.01
Information systems began to use web pages as user interfaces......
But ... not only software engineers develop web pages !!!!
A big question:
Is a web page an Information system?
If it is, can we use the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) to create it?
Software development formal methodologies didn't include the end users during the software development life cycle (SDLC), “the users don't know about computers”
Two of them
Analysing formal development methodologies – especially MSF, RUP – the main purpose was to develop information systems on time, meeting the most user requirements.
MSF contained good guidelines based upon experiences and best practices for having the roles of various team members in a software development project clearly defined.
The Rational Unified Process (RUP) is an iterative software development process, in which all the stages have documents and key facts for having success in building software.
Documentation is the aim for having a good development process.
MSF and RUP encourage during the requirements and analysis phases to caption common vocabulary, find actors and task analysis but.....
But... USER = PERSON
Things began to change
In 1982, the ACM, create a special group on Computer Human Interaction (SIGCHI). This was the result of researchers studying human factors that involve human behavior, especially in specific workplaces.
Their main goal was to make people's experience with computers more productive, more time efficient and more pleasant.
Goals of HCI
As a result: 7 principles were developed as Human Computer Interaction appears:
Safety, utility, learnability, effectiveness, efficiency, ease of used, attitude of users towards a system.
User Centered Development
On the other hand, UCI is an iterative approach which includes the users as their main focus during their analysis stage.
It includes elements that help users to figure out how the interface may look.
A quick view DESIGN EVALUATE PROTOTYPE MEET USABILITY ? READY TO IMPLEMENT YES
Another approach: ISO
There have been a couple of efforts for making standards for increse “quality” in creating Information Systems an Software development.
Two of them are:
I S O
The document ISO 9241-11 (1998) Guidance on Usability
Usability: the capability of the
software product to be understood, learned, used and attractive to the user, when used under specified conditions.
P rinciples used:
One more: ISO 9126
It is an international standard for evaluating software.
Usability - A set of attributes that bear on the effort needed for use, and on the individual assessment of such use, by a stated or implied set of users.
Finally.... web standards!
Technical specifications that define and describe aspects of the World Wide Web (W3C)
Their mainfocus is on making web pages portable, efficient, they talk about accesibility, but usability?
Effort are done en the W3C for meeting usability specifications.
Joining all together HAPPY USERS
Standards? Which ones? I S O H C I Web Standards SW Development ?
Usability is now recognized as an important software quality attribute, earning its place among more traditional attributes such as performance and robustness. Indeed, various academic programs focus on usability.
Taking the best of all
1) USABILITY CONCEPTS:
Trainning designers, SW engineers (and anyone who is making web interfaces) to conduct usability and accesibility analysis.
“ Heuristic Evaluation of User Interfaces”, Jacob Nielsen y Rolf Molich
“ How C.R.A.P is Your Site Design?” by Mike Rundle
Answer the question
2) USABILITY POLICIES:
A web page is the entrance to a new world, a world in which everything is possible so...
Treat this world as a professional one!!!!
a) Implement changes in the SDLC to increase usability on information systems. Use an Hybrid: UCD & .... whatever.
Read the article: Integration of Usability Techniques into the Software Development Process by Xavier Ferre
b) Put this words into the real world
eg.To gain knowledge, comprehension, or mastery of through experience or study.
“ put the save button on the bottom of the form”
3) USABILITY EVALUATION
Apply evaluation on the existing pages for verifying the application of the usability and accesibility policies
Recomendation: Checklists are designed for trainning web pages developers in “knowing” usability concepts and for evaluating their work.
ITIL: Quick overview
ITIL provides a comprehensive and consistent set of best practices for IT service management.
It promotes a quality approach in the use of information systems.
ITIL is based on the collective experience of commercial and governmental practitioners worldwide.
There are three types of requirements for decision-makers to consider:
ITIL – Usability
The primary purpose of usability requirements is to ensure that the system meets the expectations of its users with regard to its ease of use. The work product is used to:
provide baseline guidance to the user interface developers on user interface design
establish performance standards for usability evaluations
define test scenarios for usability test plans and usability testing.
ITIL- Design Stage
Design for non-functional requirements means giving non-functional requirements a level of importance similar to that for the functional requirements, and including them as a mandatory part of the design phase.
It is now inconceivable in modern application development projects that User interface design (usability requirements) would be omitted as a key design activity. However, many organisations ignore or forget manageability.
What to do?
Establish usability guides for the requirement stage.
Establish design considerations for the design stage.
Establish checklist for testing usability compliance.
Give customers what they need, not necessarily what they ask for...