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  •  
  • Human Computer Interaction and Usability Design Audrey Troutt Daniel Sheiner
  • Preview
    • Why usability matters
    • What usability is
    • Design Principles
    • Usability Testing
    • The Future of HCI
  • Why it matters
    • Human performance suffers under pressure
    • Usable software sells
    • Unusable software makes people unhappy
  • Definition of Usability
    • "Easy to use"
    • "The extent to which a product can be used by specified users to achieve specific goals with effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction in a specified context of use"
  •  
  • History
    • 1970's
      • Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC)
        • Xerox Star
        • WIMP (windows, icons, menus, pointers) paradigm
        • WYSIWYG word processor
    • 1982 First conference on computer usability
      • SIGCHI
    • 1998 International Organization of Standards
      • First published standards for human-computer interface design
  • Action
    • Write a research paper, play chess, read the news
    • Choose a font, move a bishop, open the New York Times website
    • Click mouse, press key
    • Contract muscles
  • Seven Stages of Action
    • Forming the goal
    • Specifying the intention
    • Specifying the action
    • Executing the action
    • Perceiving the state of the world
    • Interpreting the state of the world
    • Evaluating the outcome
  • Seven Stages of Action
    • Forming the goal
    • Specifying the intention
    • Specifying the action
    • Executing the action
    • Perceiving the state of the world
    • Interpreting the state of the world
    • Evaluating the outcome
  • Conceptual Model
    • Cognitive representation:
      • Functions
      • Mapping of controls to functions
      • Actions
    • Good mapping:
      • Intuitive
      • One-to-one
      • Visible
  • Visibility
    • We process images faster than language.
  •  
  •  
  • Visibility
    • Sensory stimulation improves memory
    • Emotion associated with information improves memory
    • Graphics make a stronger impression on memory than text
  • Stylistic Consistency
  • Abstract Logos vs. Metaphors
  • Culturally Familiar Metaphors
  • One to one correspondence
    • One function per control facilitates graphical representation.
    • A visible control with one function reminds the user of its function.
    • Multiple functions per control:
      • lead to arbitrary mappings
        • less effective / efficient learning
        • confusing / frustrating
        • minimizes flexibility of application
  • Intuitive Mapping
    • It's easier to integrate new knowledge into memory if it relates to pre-existing knowledge.
    • Intuitive controls almost don't have to be learned.
    • Use physical analogies and standardized practices.
  • Seven Stages of Action
    • Forming the goal
    • Specifying the intention
    • Specifying the action
    • Executing the action
    • Perceiving the state of the world
    • Interpreting the state of the world
    • Evaluating the outcome
  • Executing the Action
    • The more complex the action, the more opportunities for user error at every stage of action up to and including execution.
    • Automate as much of the action as possible without taking necessary control away from the user.
      • Minimize controls
      • Simplify controls
  • What if I NEED many controls?
  • Seven Stages of Action
    • Forming the goal
    • Specifying the intention
    • Specifying the action
    • Executing the action
    • Perceiving the state of the world
    • Interpreting the state of the world
    • Evaluating the outcome
  • Feedback
    • Beginners need it to learn.
    • Experienced users need it to fix mistakes.
    • It can provide useful information about the program's state, enabling the user to better form the next goal.
    • Visual feedback
    • Audio feedback
  • Usable  Explorable
    • Explorability is necessary for users to form complete conceptual maps.
    • Visible controls inspire curiosity about their functions.
    • Feedback directly demonstrates a control's function.
    • Minimize cost of error.
    • Provide warnings before processing irreversible actions.
  • Disabilities
    • Cognitive Impairments
    • Physical Impairments
    • Perceptual Impairments
  • Assistive Technologies
    • Screen Readers
    • Braille Displays
  • Assistive Technologies
    • Speech recognition
    • Head and eye tracking technology
  • Assistive Technology
    • Electrophysiological data
  • What can programmers do?
    • Provide flexible software that provides the same output in multiple formats and offers multiple ways for the user to issue similar commands.
  • Why is so much software unusable?
    • Engineers assume what's obvious to them is obvious to users.
    • Engineers lack familiarity with the details of the everyday activities their users will perform with the software.
  • Task Analysis
    • You must understand
      • who the users are
      • how these particular users think
      • how they perform tasks without software
      • how the software will improve their performance
      • the range of resources available to users
      • the environment in which users will use the software
    • Test at every stage
  • Usability Testing User testing methods for software designers
  • Usability Testing Methods
    • User Surveys
    • Observation
    • Automated Testing
    • Special Users: Usability Testing with Children
  • Usability Testing Methods
    • User Surveys
    • Observation
    • Automated Testing
    • Special Users: Usability Testing with Children
  • User Surveys
    • Provide subjective measure of overall user satisfaction.
    • Can indicate if usability problems exist
      • Cannot identify causes of usability problems
    • Pre-designed surveys for software testing:
      • QUIS—Questionnaire for User Interaction Satisfaction
      • Human-Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL) at the University of Maryland at College Park
        • http://www.lap.umd.edu/QUIS $1,000-$50
      • SUMI—Software Usability Measurement Inventory
      • University College Cork, Ireland
      • http:// sumi.ucc.ie € 2,500-Free
      • PUTQ—Perdue Usability Testing Questionnaire
      • Perdue University
      • http://www.acm.org/perlman/question.cgi?form=PUTQ Free
  • Sample QUIS questions
    • 5.4 Messages which appear on screen: confusing clear
    • 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9 NA
    • 5.4.1 Instructions for commands or choice: confusing clear 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9 NA
  • Sample SUMI questions
  • Usability Testing Methods
    • User Surveys
    • Observation
    • Automated Testing
    • Special Users: Usability Testing with Children
  • Observation
    • Simply observe people using your software without telling them how it works.
      • Gives enormous insight into assumptions you, the designer, have made that don’t match up to the users’ experience.
      • Low cost
      • Can be used at any phase of development
      • Even one or two observations can be useful
    • Observations can also be much more structured (and expensive)
      • Hire professional usability specialists to observe
      • Outsource observations to usability lab
      • Large number of users
      • Remote observation: test users worldwide
  • Observation: ten easy steps
    • 1. Set up the observation.
    • 2. Bring in the user and describe the purpose of the observation.
    • 3. Tell the user that it's okay to quit at any time.
    • 4. Talk about and demonstrate equipment in the room.
    • 5. Explain how to 'think-aloud'.
    • Kathleen Gomoll, “Some Techniques for Observing Users.” The Art of Human-Computer Interface Design . Brenda Laurel, Ed. (Massachusetts: Addison Wesley Publishing Company, 1990) 85.
  • Step 5: Explain how to ‘think-aloud’
    • User is asked to verbalize every thought, action and question while using the software
    • Observer records this information by hand, audio or video.
    • Advantage: Can provide valuable insight into the causes of and possible solutions to usability problems
    • Potential problem: Verbalizing actions and thoughts changes users’ experience with software
  • Observation: ten easy steps (cont.)
    • 6. Explain that you will not provide help.
    • 7. Describe tasks and introduce the product.
    • 8. Ask if there are any questions before you start; begin the observation.
    • 9. Conclude the observation.
    • 10. Use the results.
    • Kathleen Gomoll, “Some Techniques for Observing Users.” The Art of Human-Computer Interface Design . Brenda Laurel, Ed. (Massachusetts: Addison Wesley Publishing Company, 1990) 85.
  • Observation: Discount Usability Engineering
    • Prototyping does not need to be expensive
    • You do not need to have a finished interface to start testing the ideas with users
  • Observation: Discount Usability Engineering
    • Example: Icon testing
      • Print out icons
      • Ask users to guess what the icon represents
      • Variability in responses means an ambiguous icon.
      • If no one guesses right, re-design icon
    • Example: Cart sorting
      • Write potential menu items on index cards
      • Have user sort cards into stacks of related items
      • Ask user to give each stack a descriptive name
      • Helps when designing menus
    Examples borrowed from Jakob Nielsen and Bill Curtis. "Applying discount Usability Engineering." IEEE Software 12. 1 (Jan. 1995): 98-100.
  • Usability Testing Methods
    • User Surveys
    • Observation
    • Automated Testing
    • Special Users: Usability Testing with Children
  • Automated Testing
    • Basic idea: Remove the observer
      • Observations require observers, which can be expensive.
      • Data from observations is filtered through observer.
    • Automatically record what users do with software, and maybe also video/audio recording for think-aloud.
    • History file : Recorded data including all input from user. For example: button clicks, mouse path, entered text. May be synchronized with video.
  • Automated Testing: Simulated Users
    • Artificially intelligent users “model the perceptual and cognitive processes of real users.”*
    • Possibly give the same kind of feedback as from history files or even think-aloud.
    • Only experimental applications have been developed.
    *Kent L. Norman and Emanuele Panizzi. "Levels of Automation and User Participation in Usability Testing." Interacting with Computers 18. (2006): 246-264.
  • Automated Testing: Eye Tracking
    • In general, what the user looks at is what the user is thinking about.
    • Replaces think-aloud technique
    • Data presented as a heat map or gaze path.
    • “ The eye is the mirror of the soul, and the soul is the mirror of our thoughts.” --John Elvesjo, founder of Tobii Technology (producer of eye-tracking hardware)
  • Automated Testing: Eye Tracking
    • Advantages
      • Capture unconscious thoughts and decisions—more data than from think-aloud
      • User is not distracted by having to think aloud
    • Disadvantages
      • Cost
      • Lab setting only
      • Expertise needed to interpret data
      • Devices look uncomfortable
  • Automated Testing: Mouse-tracking Kent L. Norman and Emanuele Panizzi. "Levels of Automation and User Participation in Usability Testing." Interacting with Computers 18. (2006): 246-264.
  • Usability Testing Methods
    • User Surveys
    • Observation
    • Automated Testing
    • Special Users: Usability Testing with Children
  • Usability testing with children
    • Games and educational software for children make up a huge part of software on the market.
      • Usable software sells, but how can you test for usability with children?
    • What if your users can’t sit still through traditional observation?
    • What if they can’t assign a number to their feelings about the software?
    *Gavin Sim et al.. "All work and no play: Measuring fun, usability, and learning in software for children." Computers & Education 26. (2006): 235-248. The Smileyometer*
  • The Future of HCI design
  • The Future of HCI: Time for Revolution
    • There have been no major innovations in HCI design since 1976.
      • That was when they came out with the WIMP (windows, icons, mouse, pointer) interface.
  • The Future of HCI? The Multi-touch Screen
    • Described as “interface free”
    • Instead of WIMP interface, files, images, videos and running programs are more like physical objects you can touch, move and manipulate.
    • Video: Multi-Touch Screen Demo
  • Future of HCI: Existing Technologies
    • Eye-tracking
    • Speech Recognition
    • Most major innovations in HCI were first developed for use in games.
      • So, look to video games for the next major innovation in HCI design
  • HCI design and Usability Testing: THE END
    • Know your users
    • Test early and often
  • Image sources: slide number and link
    • 6. http://www.vhml.org/theses/nannip/HCI_final_files/image001.gif
    • 12. Norman, Donald A. The Design of Everyday Things . New York: Doubleday. 1990.
    • 28. http://www.braillenet.org/accessibilite/livreblanc/images/braille3.jpg
    • 29. http://www.boosttechnology.com/
    • 32. Norman, Donald A. The Design of Everyday Things . New York: Doubleday. 1990.
    • 45. http://www.nngroup.com/reports/prototyping/hifi_homepage_testing.jpg
    • 45. http://people.csail.mit.edu/msbernst/tdr/usertesting.html
    • 50. http://stephenslighthouse.sirsi.com/archives/thermal.png
    • 50. http://www.uxmatters.com/MT/archives/000040.php
    • 51. http://www.eyelinkinfo.com/optns_desk_optics.php
    • 51. http://news.thomasnet.com/images/large/464/464278.jpg
    • 57. http://cs.nyu.edu/~jhan/ftirtouch/
    • 59. http://www.nevtron.si/borderline/archive2/intuiti.gif