Characteristics of good interfaces
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Characteristics of Good Interfaces. Outline. Four characteristics of a good user interface: Consistency Use of hierarchy and grouping Explicitly shows states and state changes Avoids overload. Consistency. Interface components and layout should be consistent within and across applications

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Characteristics of Good Interfaces

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Characteristics of good interfaces

Characteristics of Good Interfaces


Outline

Outline

  • Four characteristics of a good user interface:

    • Consistency

    • Use of hierarchy and grouping

    • Explicitly shows states and state changes

    • Avoids overload


Consistency

Consistency

  • Interface components and layout should be consistent within and across applications

  • Consistency refers to…

    • Presence and absence of features

    • Physical location of features

    • Appearance of features (widgets, text, icons)

    • Method of accessing features


Presence and absence of features

Power Point:

Can’t customize keyboard

Presence and Absence of Features

Word:

Customize keyboard


Characteristics of good interfaces

StatView

Not available

Presence and Absence of Features (2)

Word

Recently used

file list


Characteristics of good interfaces

Physical Location of Features

Power Point:

Last entryin list

Word:

First entryin list


Characteristics of good interfaces

Appearance of Features

Windows:

Windows is searchingfor a file

Windows is searchingfor a file


Appearance of features 2

Appearance of Features (2)

  • Consistent (i.e., same) size within a group is aesthetically pleasing


Characteristics of good interfaces

Method of Accessing Features

Word:

From INSERT menu:

Two ways to insert page numbers!

Are they the same?

From VIEW menu:


Characteristics of good interfaces

Method of Accessing Features (2)

Application on the desktop:launch by double click

Application on the toolbar:launch by single click


Outline1

Outline

  • Four characteristics of a good user interface:

    • Consistency

    • Use of hierarchy and grouping

    • Explicitly shows states and state changes

    • Avoids overload


Hierarchy and grouping

Hierarchy and Grouping

  • Make relationships obvious

  • Provide “headings” to categorize groups of related items

  • Use

    • Horizontal separators

    • Borders

    • Labeled borders

    • Alignment


Characteristics of good interfaces

ICQ:

Hierarchy isambiguous


Characteristics of good interfaces

Yamaha OPL Sound Driver:

Good sense ofhierarchy and groupings via labeled borders


Outline2

Outline

  • Four characteristics of a good user interface:

    • Consistency

    • Use of hierarchy and grouping

    • Explicitly shows states and state changes

    • Avoids overload


States and state changes

States and State Changes

  • The user must

    • Know the state of the system at all times

    • Be informed of state changes


Caps lock state

If would be nice if Caps Lock were indicated!

Caps Lock

Caps Lock State

What if Caps Lock is on?


Characteristics of good interfaces

Eudora:

StateChanges

Click here


Characteristics of good interfaces

Eudora:

Notes:

1. Compromise:

Bad: position changes

Good: all entries appear

2. Animation helps

Click here


State uncertainty

State Uncertainty

  • Cable modem…

CABLE

PC

TD

POWER

TEST

RD

Receive Data

(from where?)


What is receive data

What is “Receive Data”?

Network Server

Cable Modem

Receive data

My PC


Outline3

Outline

  • Four characteristics of a good user interface:

    • Consistency

    • Use of hierarchy and grouping

    • Explicitly shows states and state changes

    • Avoids overload


Overload

Overload

  • From Miller’s famous essay…

  • Refers to the number of items a human can reasonably process at once

The magical number seven plus or minus two!

Reference:

Miller, G. A. (1956, March). The magical number seven plus or minus two: Some limits on our capacity for processing information. The Psychological Review, 63(2), 81-97.


Characteristics of good interfaces

Eudora:

Too much to digest without groupings


Colour overload

Colour Overload!

ICQ:

The following people are "offline"

Painted in red to indicate

"offline" (but we already

know that!)


Characteristics of good interfaces

Colour Overload! (2)

ICQ:

Why is this blue?

Why is this purple?

Why is this yellow?


Characteristics of good interfaces

Colour Overload! (3)

Eudora:

Good use ofcolour


Color design guideline

Color Design Guideline

  • Color is good for distinguishing things, but not necessarily for coding things.(People have trouble remembering the association of colors to meanings.)

  • Design your interface in black and white. Add color for emphasis when your design is complete.

  • Always honor the system color settings.

  • Keep in mind that 5% of males have some degree of color blindness.


Coffee maker on off switch

Coffee Maker on/off Switch

On or off?

On or off?

Discussion:

On the left, the switch appears similar to a North American wall switch in the up, or on, position, whereas the reverse observation applies for the picture on the right. However, the label 0 appears above the label 1. So, some confusion exists. The top part of the switch is immediately beside the label 0; so, perhaps pushing the top part of the switch is associated with the label 0. Also, the use of the colour red may be misleading. Does red mean on or off? When colour is used, sometimes red/green pairs exist, typically with green implying on and red implying off.


No confirmation

Are the changes saved?

No Confirmation

WS-Ftp:

Click here to “save Windows location” (for next ftp login)

Then what?


What do i do now

Where?

What Do I Do Now?


Thank you

Thank you


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