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HCI guidelines - use and misuse. Susan Turner. Now and next in MSD. This week - guidelines week 10 - case study & exam question week 11 - your turn research either HCI issues in the design & evaluation of virtual reality HCI issues in the design & evaluation of small mobile devices.

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now and next in msd
Now and next in MSD...
  • This week - guidelines
  • week 10 - case study & exam question
  • week 11 - your turn
  • research either
    • HCI issues in the design & evaluation of virtual reality
    • HCI issues in the design & evaluation of small mobile devices
today s lecture
Today’s lecture
  • Using guidelines and standards sensibly
  • Guidelines exercise
  • Guidelines for universal access
guidelines and standards
Guidelines and standards
  • Guidelines
    • general purpose ‘rules’ in HCI texts and websites
      • most useful when include explanatory text
    • in-house and proprietary style guides
  • Standards
    • have formal authority


Smith & Mosier



shneiderman s 8 golden rules of dialogue design
Shneiderman’s 8 golden rules of dialogue design
  • Strive for consistency
  • Enable frequent users to use shortcuts
  • Offer informative feedback
  • Design dialogs to yield closure
  • Offer simple error handling
  • Permit easy reversal of actions
  • Support internal locus of control
  • Reduce short-term memory load
guidelines for web design
Guidelines for web design
  • www-3.ibm.com/ibm/easy/eou_ext.nsf/Publish/572
  • try also www.useit.com (Jakob Nielsen’s site)
using guidelines
Using Guidelines
  • guidelines often conflict in specific instances
    • helps to understand the underlying reasoning
    • consider the requirements of the situation and decide which aspects are most important
  • basis of ‘heuristic evaluation’ (more in later lecture)
  • a collection of guidelines links
  • www.ida.liu.se/~miker/hci/guidelines.html
  • Set by (inter)national standards bodies, but often industry driven
    • International Standards Organisation (ISO)
    • International Telegraph and Telephone Consultative Committee (CCITT)
    • British Standards Institute (BSI)
    • American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
  • prescriptive, rather than advisory
for example
For example
  • ISO 9241 Ergonomics for Office Work with Visual Display Terminals
  • ISO 14915 Ergonomics for Multimedia User Interface Design
  • BSEN ISO 13407 ‘Human Centred Design for Interactive Systems’
  • conformance usually by process not product
  • also European directives (e.g.90/270/EEC)
iso 9241
General introduction

Guidance on task requirements

VDU requirements

Keyboard requirements

Workstation layout and postural requirements

Environmental requirements

Display requirements with reflections

Requirements for displayed colours

Requirements for non-keyboard input devices

Dialogue principles

Guidance on usability specification and measures

Presentation of information

User guidance

Menu dialogues

Command dialogues

Direct manipulation dialogues

Form-filling dialogues

ISO 9241
european directive of 29 5 90
European directive of 29.5.90
  • minimum health & safety requirements for employees who work with display screens
  • wide exceptions
  • employers’ obligations
in summary
In summary
  • Guidelines can be useful, but need thought in their application
  • Be aware of HCI standards
universal design
Universal design

“Universal design for telecommunications and information systems means designing products which can be effectively and efficiently used by people with a wide range of abilities or in a wide range of situations.”

Universal Access Project, University of Wisconsin, 1995

  • need to be aware
    • as users
    • as designers and implementers
    • as support engineers
justification for universal design
Justification for universal design
  • Legal and ethical rights
    • e.g. Disability Discrimination Act (UK)
  • Contribution to a more open society
    • move away from ‘disability products’
  • Broader market
    • expansion of technology into new domains and for new users
    • aging population
  • Broader application area
    • not just people with special needs, but ordinary people in special circumstances (low light, wearing gloves, noise…)
relevant human abilities design
Relevant human abilities & design
  • Think about abilities, not types of people
    • vision
    • hearing
    • cognition
    • mobility and dexterity
  • designing for the elderly and children
    • some or all of these may be relevant
  • design proactively
    • avoid inadvertent exclusion
    • design to be accessible, usable and and acceptable
ways of widening access
Ways of widening access
  • New features for hardware and operating systems
    • features universally available for compliant applications
  • Assistive technologies
    • enhance accessibility, but must be moved between computers
    • cost issues
  • Specialised applications
    • e.g. browsers which read pages
    • but people with special needs often work alongside others with standard applications
  • Usability features for mainstream applications
    • e.g. customisable colours to maximise contrast & therefore readability
some assistive technologies
Some assistive technologies
  • Screen enlargers
    • like a magnifying glass
    • can set and move area of focus
  • Screen reviewers or readers
    • make text available as speech or as Braille
    • graphics only included if alternative text provided
  • Voice input
    • not just text, but also as substitute for mouse/keyboard control
  • On-screen keyboards
    • select keys using alternative input devices
  • keyboard filters
    • compensate for tremor, erratic motion, slow response time...
did you know
Did you know?
  • Windows Accessibility Options (under control panel)
  • keyboard
  • sound
    • visual warnings & captions for sounds
  • display
    • high contrast options
  • mouse
a general approach
A general approach
  • Requirements/specification
    • include people with special needs in requirements analysis and testing of existing systems
    • consider whether new features affect users with special needs (positively or negatively) and note this in specification
  • Design
    • take account of guidelines
  • Testing
    • include evaluation against guidelines
    • include special needs users in usability testing and beta tests
  • Implementation
    • make sure programming team are aware of guidelines
    • if prioritising bugs for fixing, consider that some may have disproportionately more impact on users with special needs
basic principles of accessible design
Basic principles of accessible design
  • Flexibility
    • customisable user interface to accommodate preferences
      • e.g. font size, menu arrangement
  • Choice of input and output methods
    • e.g. keyboard as well as mouse
    • redundant combinations of sound, graphics and text
  • Consistency
    • within and between applications
  • Number of users
    • give higher priority to features that affect more users
    • e.g. more people view documents than author them
  • Frequency of use
  • Necessity of use
    • give priority to features which are central to the product
some useful links
Some useful links


  • detailed guidelines for Microsoft applications and more general advice


  • general advice on computing and related technologies for people with special needs


  • web site checking service - also provides guidelines

*acknowledgment: much of previous material derived from here

a specific example designing for low vision 1
A specific example - designing for low vision (1)
  • Key principles - redundancy and flexibility
  • Keep to standard menu and dialogue box layouts
    • helps to memorise position of options
  • Provide keyboard alternatives
  • Use audio ‘tooltips’
  • Supplement visual prompts with audible signals (or vibration or tactile output, such as to Braille display)
  • Use shading and patterns for visual items to supplement colour
designing for low vision 2
Designing for low vision (2)
  • Use characters of at least 7.5 mm or 16 point on screen
  • Use San Serif font for labels, etc., Serif font for text
  • Generally, dark letters on light background are preferable
  • Allow messages to remain on the screen until dismissed by the user
  • Allow text to be enlarged and colours, contrast and brightness to be adjusted
  • Provide documentation in media which will allow users to listen to it
in summary1
In summary
  • Be aware that guidelines and accesibility aids exist
  • Wherever possible, design for inclusion rather than exclusion