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Easily Making IT Easy to Use. Robert Biddle, James Noble Victoria University of Wellington http://www.mcs.vuw.ac.nz. What is Usability?. Usability: the ease with which a user can learn to operate, prepare inputs for, and interpret outputs of a system or component. (IEEE)

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easily making it easy to use

Easily Making IT Easy to Use

Robert Biddle, James Noble

Victoria University of Wellington

http://www.mcs.vuw.ac.nz

what is usability
What is Usability?
  • Usability:the ease with which a user can learn to operate, prepare inputs for, and interpret outputs of a system or component. (IEEE)
  • Aspects: learnability, predictability, …
  • Factors: experience of user, frequency of use
how can we determine usability
How Can We Determine Usability?
  • Usability Inspection
    • Cognitive Walkthroughs
    • Heuristic Inspection
    • Cognitive Dimensions Framework
  • Usability Testing
    • Usability Lab or In-Situ
    • Think-Aloud or Co-Discovery
    • Action and Reflection
how can we design for usability
How Can We Design for Usability?
  • Theories
    • Affordance Theory, Activity Theory, …
  • Techniques
    • Task Analysis, Essential Modelling, …
  • Processes
    • User-Centred Design, Goal-Directed Design, Usage-Centred Design, …
how does usability work in the wireless world
How does Usability work in theWireless World?
  • 1960s: The Lesson of Television
    • McLuhan: Print is Cold, TV is Hot
  • 1990s: The Lesson of the Web
    • Nielsen: TV is Hot, the Web is Cool
how does usability work in the wireless world1
How does Usability work in theWireless World?
  • 2000+: The Lesson of…
    • CellPhones?
    • PDAs?
    • WebPhones?
    • WAP?
    • GPRS?
    • 802.11?
recent work at victoria in human computer interaction
Recent Work at Victoria inHuman-Computer Interaction
  • Approach:
    • Usage-Centred, Object-Oriented, Agile
  • Technology
    • Perl, CGI, Tcl/Tk, Java, JSP, WAP, GPRS, 802.11
  • Work with Software Engineering
    • Lightweight Collaborative Tools
  • Learn from the Humanities
    • Visual Corpus Analysis
    • Semiotics of User Interface Design
slide10

Lightweight Collaborative Tools

  • CASE tools on web pages
  • Allow simple collaboration
  • Usable anywhere with web access
  • Browser independent
  • Inspirations: Wiki, Hotmail

Browser

Form

WebServer

DBMS

HTML

Servlets

lessons from lightweight collaborative web tools
Lessons from Lightweight Collaborative Web Tools
  • Focus on users and usage
  • Focus on models and constraints
  • Domain specific work is easier to understand
  • Shared state feeds groupware
  • Less is enough
  • Less is more
semiotics of ui design pippin barr
Semiotics of UI Design (Pippin Barr)

Iconic: Resemblance

Indexical: Causality

Symbolic

work in progress
Work in Progress
  • Lightweight Wireless Collaboration
  • Wireless Usability Evaluation
  • Visual Interaction Analysis
  • Software Semiotics
easily making it easy to use1

Easily Making IT Easy to Use

Robert Biddle, James Noble

Victoria University of Wellington

http://www.mcs.vuw.ac.nz