Cognitive dimensions
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Cognitive Dimensions. Developed by Thomas Green, Univ. of Leeds Used to analyze the usability of information artifacts Applied to discover useful things about usability problems that are not easily analyzed using conventional techniques Framework (as opposed to model or theory).

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Cognitive Dimensions

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Cognitive Dimensions

  • Developed by Thomas Green, Univ. of Leeds

  • Used to analyze the usability of information artifacts

  • Applied to discover useful things about usability problems that are not easily analyzed using conventional techniques

  • Framework (as opposed to model or theory)


Cognitive Dimensions (2)

  • Focused on notations, such as

    • Music

    • Dance

    • Programming languages

  • And on information handling devices, such as

    • Spreadsheets

    • Database query systems

    • Word-processors

    • VCRs and DVD players

    • Cell phones


Cognitive Dimensions (3)

  • Gives descriptions of aspects, attributes, or ways that a user thinks about a system, called dimensions

  • The 14 dimensions follow:


Viscosity

  • Resistance to change

    • Fixed mental model

    • Hard-coded structure

  • Examples:

    • Technical literature, with cross-references and section headings (because introducing a new section requires many changes to cross-references)


Visibility

  • Ability to view components easily

  • Non-encapsulation

  • Examples:


Premature Commitment

  • Constraints on order of operations

    • Noun/verb

    • Verb/noun

    • Syntax of operations

  • Examples:

    • Declarations required before problem analysis


Hidden Dependencies

  • Important links between entities are not visible

  • Examples:

    • class hierarchies

    • HTML links

    • spreadsheet cells


Role-Expressiveness

  • Purpose of an entity is readily inferred (or obvious)

  • Uniform vs. distinguishing appearance of objects

  • Examples:


Error-Proneness

  • Notations (or actions) invite mistakes and the system gives little protection

  • Examples:


Abstraction

  • Types and availability of abstraction mechanisms

  • Examples:


Secondary Notation

  • Extra information in means other than formal syntax

  • Examples:

    • Comments in programming languages

    • Pop-up boxes for icons

    • Well-designed icons


Closeness of Mapping

  • Closeness of representation to domain

  • Examples:


Consistency

  • Similar semantics are expressed in similar syntactic forms

  • Examples:


Diffuseness

  • Verbosity of language

  • Examples:


Hard Mental Operations

  • High demand on cognitive resources

  • Examples:


Provisionality

  • Degree of commitment to actions or marks

  • Examples:


Progressive Evaluation

  • Work to date can be checked at any time

  • Examples:


Summary

  • Viscosity

  • Visibility

  • Premature commitment

  • Hidden dependencies

  • Role expressiveness

  • Error proneness

  • Abstraction

  • Secondary notation

  • Closeness of mapping

  • Consistency

  • Diffuseness

  • Hard mental operations

  • Provisionality

  • Progressive evaluation


Supplementary Material

  • Cognitive Dimensions of Notations website www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~afb21/CognitiveDimensions

  • 10th Anniversary CD of Notations Workshop www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~afb21/CognitiveDimensions/workshop2005/index.html


Supplementary Material (2)

  • Sally Fincher, Patterns in HCI

  • Marian Petre, Expert Design Reasoning


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