425 hci 1 the psychopathology of everyday things
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425: HCI 1 The Psychopathology of Everyday Things. Today\'s Forecast. Lecture: The Psychopathology of Everyday Things ICE: Everyday Thing (Critiquing) Field Trip! AWE: Norman on Design (if time permits ...). Homework.

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today s forecast
Today\'s Forecast
  • Lecture: The Psychopathology of Everyday Things
  • ICE: Everyday Thing (Critiquing) Field Trip!
  • AWE: Norman on Design (if time permits ...)
homework
Homework
  • To find out what\'s due when, turn to the Schedule page of your trusty course web site:
    • rachmiel.org/425
  • That\'s the second time I mentioned this ...
    • Since everyone\'s hanging onto every word I say, I shouldn\'t have to mention it ever again.
      • So I won\'t!
      • From now on you\'re on your own re: homework and due dates. ;-)
slide4
The Design of Everyday Things
  • Donald Norman
  • Chapter 1:
  • The Psychopathology of Everyday Things
psy cho pa tho lo gy
Psy-cho-pa-tho-lo-gy ... ?
  • Psychopathology: the study of mental disorders.
    • The Psychopathology of Everyday Things is an allusion to Freud\'s classic book Psychopathology of Everyday Life.
      • Study of errors humans make in their everyday lives
        • forgetting names, speech mistakes, Freudian slips
    • Norman’s chapter, like Freud’s book, deals with errors humans make.
      • Only Norman’s errors are in the realm of using everyday things.
    • Catalogue d\'objets introuvable (Catalog of Unfindable/Impossible Objects)
      • series of books by French artist Jacques Carelman depicting everyday things that are deliberately unusable, outrageous, ill-formed, paradoxical, just plain stupid!
      • The teapot on the cover of DOET is from this.
engineering degree required
Engineering Degree Required?
  • "Kenneth Olsen, the engineer who founded and still runs Digital Equipment Corp., confessed at the annual meeting that he can\'t figure out how to heat a cup of coffee in the company\'s microwave oven."
  • – Wall Street Journal

Is this shocking?

Why / why not?

Should it be?

engineering degree required7
Engineering Degree Required?
  • Human brains are brilliant at making sense of the world.
    • It’s what / we / do.
  • So why do we make so many mistakes using everyday devices?
    • cell phones
    • dvd players
    • car heaters
    • mechanical pencils
    • stovetop burners
  • Sometimes the mistakes come from our lack of attention.
  • But, surprisingly often, they come from poor device design.
    • In other words: It’s (often) not your fault!
the frustrations of everyday life
The Frustrations of Everyday Life
  • Having a hard time doing everyday things is frustrating.
    • Good visibility and feedback raises usability, lowers frustration.
      • More on this soon ...

Should (all) everyday things be easy/convenient to perform?

Is there any upside to them NOT being easy/convenient?

the psychology of everyday things
The Psychology of Everyday Things
  • Psychology: the study of the human mind.
    • So, the psychology of everyday things is the study of how the human mind interacts with the everyday things around it.
    • The original title of DOET: The Psychology of Everyday Things.
      • Norman really liked this, especially because of its acronym: POET.
      • Alas, sales fell because designers steered clear of a book with "psychology" in its title, and bookstores often misplaced it in the Psychology/Self Help section.
      • So he compromised and renamed it: The Design of Everyday Things.
the big six normanisms
The Big Six Normanisms
  • Affordances
  • Constraints
  • Visibility
  • Mapping
  • Feedback
  • Conceptual model

The Big Six Normanisms

Know them.

Use them.

Love them.

They will serve you well,

both in this class ...

and beyond!

affordances
Affordances
  • Affordance: a property of a device that enables it to be used.
    • The grip of a pistol affords holding.
    • The barrel sight affords aiming.
    • The trigger affords pulling (and shooting).
  • Subjective / objective affordances
    • Subjective (perceived) affordances of a pistol include: holding, aiming, and shooting .
    • Objective affordances: hammer a nail into wood, use as a paperweight, hang by a wire from the ceiling as a mobile.
constraints
Constraints
  • Constraint: a property of a device that limits its usage.
    • The trigger guard of a pistol constrains the number of fingers that can be used to pull the trigger to one (or perhaps two).
    • The physical relationship between the grip and the trigger constrains which finger(s) can be used to pull the trigger (e.g., not the thumb).
    • The engineering of the trigger constrains the direction it can be moved (backward).
  • Misperception: Constraint = bad = missing functionality
    • On the contrary, intelligent use of constraints can greatly increase and simplify an object’s usability.
visibility
Visibility*
  • Visibility: the degree to which a device\'s intended use is visible (apparent) to the user.
    • The shape of a pistol (grip, barrel, trigger) makes the way it is intended to be held quite visible.
    • The location and movement of the trigger guard and trigger make the act of pulling the trigger reasonably visible.
    • The long straight barrel with a hole in one end makes the act of shooting the pistol somewhat, though by no means clearly, visible.
  • * start at ~ 6:00
mapping
Mapping
  • Mapping: the relationship between the controls of a device (knobs, switches, levers, buttons, pedals, keys, etc.) and what these controls can be used for.
    • Consider the mappings of a pistol:
      • The grip maps to holding the pistol.
      • The barrel sight maps to aiming.
      • The trigger maps to shooting.
natural mapping natural design
Natural Mapping, Natural Design
  • Natural mapping: a mapping that uses physical analogies and cultural standards to make it easy to understand.
    • The shape of a pistol and everyday laws of physics make it clear that the barrel of a pistol should be pointed at the intended target.
    • The engineering of the trigger guard (lots of space in front of the trigger, very little behind) make it clear that the trigger should be pulled backwards to shoot.
    • The safety switch, on the other hand, is not naturally mapped, and for this reason users must work at learning how to use it properly.
  • Natural design: design that makes use of natural mappings.
feedback
Feedback
  • Feedback: information a device communicates back to users about actions they have taken.
    • Feedback shows users the effects of their actions.
    • Setting a pistol safety switch to its on or off position might produce an audible feedback click or a palpable drop into a slot.
    • Loading a bullet properly in the breach might produce an audible and palpable snap.
    • Shooting produces an audible report and palpable recoil.
  • Without clear and timely feedback, users can feel lost, clueless, annoyed, unsure how to proceed.
conceptual models
Conceptual Models
  • Conceptual model: a mental image of how a device works.
    • There are two types of conceptual models:
      • Design model
        • the designer\'s mental image, emerges from designing the device
      • User\'s model
        • the user\'s mental image, emerges from interacting with device
    • In general, the closer the user\'s model is to the design model for a device, the more understandable the device is for the user.
    • The design and user\'s models for a pistol are very similar: a pistol is a device that shoots bullets at targets.
    • The models diverge to some extent when it comes to details: how to load the bullets, how to use the safety, how to minimize recoil, etc.
ice big six normanisms
ICE: Big Six Normanisms
  • Coalesce into groups of 4-6.
  • Pick an everyday thing in the classroom.
  • Analyze it in terms of its Big Six Normanisms:
    • affordances
    • constraints
    • visibility
    • mapping
    • feedback
    • conceptual models (design, user\'s)
  • Preeeeeesent!
20 000 everyday things
20,000 Everyday Things
  • We are surrounded by things.
    • about 20,000 - 30,000 of them
  • How do we cope with using so many things?
    • KITH - Knowledge in the Head
    • KITW - Knowledge in the World
    • Good conceptual models
    • And, above all: GOOD USABILITY DESIGNERS!

Sp\'ICE: How many classroom things can you count in 30 seconds?

make things visible
Make Things Visible
  • When a device\'s # possible actions > its # controls
    • Visibility tends to get dicey.
    • Usability problems often ensue.

Name some devices whose # possible actions > # controls.

Is their visibility/usability compromised?

How might you improve the visibility/usability?

design for understandability and usability
Design for Understandability and Usability
  • Two fundamental principles of designing successfully for human users:
    • Provide a good conceptual (user\'s) model.
    • Make things visible.
  • Get these two right and you\'re well on your way to designing a usable product.
provide a good conceptual model
Provide a Good Conceptual Model
  • “… the most important part of a successful design is the underlying conceptual model.” – Norman
  • Why?
    • Because good conceptual models enable users:
      • To mentally simulate operation
      • To predict effects of their actions
      • To incorporate existing knowledge
      • To use metaphors
      • To feel the object in their gut
pity the poor designer
Pity the Poor Designer ...
  • Designing well for all parties concerned is very difficult!
    • Designers want something that’s fun/challenging to build.
    • Manufacturers want something that’s cheap to build.
    • Retailers want something that’s sexy and will attract customers.
    • Repair people wants something that can be fixed easily.
    • Safety commission wants something that can’t harm humans.
    • User wants it all: fun, cheap, sexy, easily fixed.
the paradox of technology
The Paradox of Technology
  • New technologies make life easier.
  • New technologies make life more complex.
  • How do 1 and 2 get along with each other?
    • Well, as our Uncle Marshall McLuhan taught us:
      • The rise of a new technology means the decline (or, in some cases, extinction) of the technology it replaces
      • Thus every new technology represents a gain and loss
        • This is the “price” of technology

Name some examples, old and new, of TPoT in action.

slide25
ICE
  • Everyday Thing (Critiquing) Field Trip!
slide26
AWE
  • Donald Norman at BoS 2009 Conference, Part 1
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