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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
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
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
Cognitive Dimensions (3)

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

  • The 14 dimensions follow:


Viscosit y
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)


Visibilit y
Visibility

  • Ability to view components easily

  • Non-encapsulation

  • Examples:


Premature commitment
Premature Commitment

  • Constraints on order of operations

    • Noun/verb

    • Verb/noun

    • Syntax of operations

  • Examples:

    • Declarations required before problem analysis


Hidden dependencies
Hidden Dependencies

  • Important links between entities are not visible

  • Examples:

    • class hierarchies

    • HTML links

    • spreadsheet cells


Role expressiveness
Role-Expressiveness

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

  • Uniform vs. distinguishing appearance of objects

  • Examples:


Error proneness
Error-Proneness

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

  • Examples:


Abstraction
Abstraction

  • Types and availability of abstraction mechanisms

  • Examples:


Secondary notation
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 Mapping

  • Closeness of representation to domain

  • Examples:


Consistency
Consistency

  • Similar semantics are expressed in similar syntactic forms

  • Examples:


Diffuseness
Diffuseness

  • Verbosity of language

  • Examples:


Hard mental operations
Hard Mental Operations

  • High demand on cognitive resources

  • Examples:


Provisionality
Provisionality

  • Degree of commitment to actions or marks

  • Examples:


Progressive evaluation
Progressive Evaluation

  • Work to date can be checked at any time

  • Examples:


Summary
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
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
Supplementary Material (2)

  • Sally Fincher, Patterns in HCI

  • Marian Petre, Expert Design Reasoning


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