Transcript CS 105 – User Interface Design
What is a User Interface?
Everything in a device with which a human being interacts.
The total “user experience” Not necessarily tied to computers – Doors – Thermostat – VCR
User Interface Examples
Your car – Pedals, steering wheel, gearshift… Altair (from videos) – Knobs, switches, blinking lights… Microsoft Windows – http://americanhistory.si.edu/csr/comphist/objects/altair.htm
Mouse, keyboard, Start button…
Computer User Interfaces
Webopedia.com*: “An interface is a set of commands or menus through which a user communicates with a program. A command-driven interface is one in which you enter commands. A menu-driven interface is one in which you select command choices from various menus displayed on the screen.” From www.webopedia.com
, part of internet.com Corp., copyright 2001.
Advantages of Good User Interface Design
Ease of use Visually appealing Shorter learning curve $$$ – Designer sells more products – User is more efficient / productive
8 Golden Principles*
Strive for Consistency Include shortcuts Offer informative feedback Design dialogs to yield closure From Schneiderman, Ben, Designing the User Interface, Addison-Wesley, 1998.
8 Golden Principles
Offer error prevention and simple error handling Permit easy reversal of actions Keep user in control Reduce short-term memory load
User Interface Exercise
In groups of 4 – 5: – Pick one of the following applications Word, Mozilla, Excel – Give 2 good and 2 bad characteristics of its user interface – Do any other principles of good user interface design come to mind?
Applications vs. Web
Previous slides focused on applications Assumed that principles held for Web pages, too – so most Web pages designed with them in mind.
Spool, et. al. showed that this might not be the best way…
Applications vs. Web
Applications are tools – Ease-of-use means the tool is easy to manipulate – easy to get it to do what you want.
Web pages are information sources – Ease-of-use means easy to find the information you are looking for However, rules derived from print layout may not be useful either
‘Usable’ Web Pages
Some good characteristics: – Descriptive Links – Minimize Animation – Readability vs. Scanability Information retrieval vs. Surfing