Interaction model
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Interaction Model. User Perspective. User-centered design sounds good and as the right thing to do But What does it mean to design something from a users’ perspective H ow do users view the interface. Norman’s Activity Model.

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Interaction Model

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Interaction model

Interaction Model

User perspective

User Perspective

  • User-centered design sounds good and as the right thing to do

  • But

  • What does it mean to design something from a users’ perspective

  • How do users view the interface

Norman s activity model

Norman’s Activity Model

  • Don Norman (1988) proposed that users view the user-interface as a mean to an end

  • The interface, according to Norman’s model provides users with the mechanisms to achieve something that they desire or want

  • This mechanism includes 2 basic elements of the interface

    • Interface – How it communicates to user what to do or what can be done

    • Interaction – Describes what users are expected to do

User interface design

User Interface Design

  • For example

    • The interface includes:

      • The blue icon

      • Message

      • Labeled button

    • The interaction with the error message box below consist of:

      • Reading the message

      • Clicking on the close button

Norman s action model

Norman’s Action Model

  • Norman’s activity model deals with the interaction

  • Norman suggested that people’s action includes 3 components:

    • An Intention

    • An action

    • An Evaluation

  • Actions are performed within a context of a higher level goal

Example removing the error message

Example – removing The Error Message

  • To remove the error message (Goal) the user will

    • Express an intent to close the message

    • Click on the “Close” button

    • Check to make sure that the dialog box is indeed closed

Activity model

Activity Model


Gulf of Execution

Gulf of Evaluation

External World

Gulf of execution

Gulf of Execution

  • Deals with the gap between what the user wants to do – Intention and the action needed to implement the intent

    • How do I start my car

    • How do I save a document

    • How do I set the time on my car clock

  • A gap exists when users have difficulties determining how to act

Gulf of evaluation

Gulf of Evaluation

  • Deals with the gap between perception and interpretation

    • Did my car started?

    • Was my document saved?

    • Am I controlling the time on my car clock?

  • A gap exists when users have difficulties Assessing the state of their system - determining what happened in the real world

Implementing the action

Implementing the Action

  • For users to close the gaps they will need to

  • Execution

    • Form an intention

    • Plan out the action flow

    • Execute the plan

  • Evaluation

    • Perceive the result

    • Interpret the result

    • Evaluate the result

Closing the gaps

Closing the Gaps




Detailed Plan




External World

Example execution

Example - Execution

  • Forming a Goal

    • I want to inform my team about a meeting I had.

  • Intention to Act

    • I have outlook open on my desktop. I will set up a meeting for the team and myself. I will open a meeting invitation

  • Planning the Action

    • I need to move the cursor to the meeting icon and click on it

  • Executing the Action

    • I move the cursor to the meeting icon and I click on it

Example evaluation

Example - Evaluation

  • Feedback from the Action

    • A meeting set up form is opened

  • Interpret the Feedback

    • I am now able able to specify a meeting and invite Sean

  • Evaluate the Outcome

    • Positive – I’m able to start scheduling a meeting. No further action is needed

    • Negative – The form I opened is for scheduling an appointment not a meeting

    • The Action Cycle is either repeated or a new goal is formed

Interaction model

From Michael J. Darnell @

Example execution challenge

Example – Execution Challenge

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