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Old Business. -Course Syllabus -3X5 cards -Java (which version?). Good Design Comes from understanding Bad Design. Usability. Design. Implementation. Evaluation. Affordances -strong clues as to use Mappings the controls and their result in the real world

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Old business l.jpg

Old Business

-Course Syllabus

-3X5 cards

-Java (which version?)

Usability l.jpg




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  • Affordances-strong clues as to use

  • Mappings the controls and their result in the real world

  • Feedback- what action has taken place

  • Constraints- constraints the user

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  • Affordances provide “strong clues” to the operation of things

  • Push buttons, knobs, and light switches are all affordances — just by looking at them you can discern their purpose.

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Visual Affordances

  • Appearance indicates how the object should be used

    • chair for sitting

    • table for placing things on

    • buttons for pushing

  • complex things may need explaining, but simple things (labels, instructions) should not

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  • Mappings refers to the relationship between two things

  • Eg, control and movement

    • Steering wheel

    • Door handle

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Visible Constraints

  • Limits the actions possible perceived from object’s appearance

  • For example, a key into a door or “graying out” a selection from the user.

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Visibility (feedback)

  • Allow the user to be informed

  • Show him the state

    • did I set the watch correctly?

    • can I see the elevator in its shaft?

  • Did I do this task correctly?

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Transfer effects

  • Users will transfer their expectations of similar objects to your design

  • For example, the typewriter model is now the computer keyboard

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Conceptual model

  • People have “mental models” on how things should work

  • Conceptual models come from:

    • affordances

    • constraints

    • mapping

    • similar devices or interfaces

    • interactions

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Conceptual model

  • The user will misunderstand the interface if the attributes are misleading

  • Example of a bad design (digital watch)

    • affordances: there are 4 push buttons but since all 4 look similar, what do they do?

    • Constraint and mapping: no visible relation between buttons and possible actions of button presses

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Guidelines for design

  • 1. Provide a good conceptual model

    • - allows users to predict the consequences of actions. Communicates the system to the user

  • 2. Make things visible

    • the user’s intentions, required actions are sensible and non-arbitrary.

    • Use visible affordances, mapping and constraints

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Who will use your design?

  • Beginners - walk-up-and-use systems (internet)

  • casual users - help or reference guides (most software we buy)

  • intermediate users - knows how to quickly use the system (custom software)

  • experts - shortcuts are used (custom software)