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Usability Lawrence Najjar. Outline. Purpose Usability benefits General usability principles Usability process and activities Common user interface project Accessibility Getting usability services Usability resources Summary Usability lab tour. Purpose.

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outline
Outline
  • Purpose
  • Usability benefits
  • General usability principles
  • Usability process and activities
  • Common user interface project
  • Accessibility
  • Getting usability services
  • Usability resources
  • Summary
  • Usability lab tour
purpose
Purpose
  • Learn some usability principles
  • Get familiar with usability process, tools, and
  • techniques
  • Get exposed to accessibility
  • Learn how to get usability services
benefits of usability
Benefits of Usability
  • Increase
    • User satisfaction
    • User productivity
    • Product acceptance
    • Product marketability
  • Decrease
    • Development costs
    • User errors and frustration
    • Training costs
    • Support costs
    • Maintenance costs

(Karat, 1990)

usability benefits some numbers
Usability Benefits – Some Numbers
  • Estimated savings when software problem found and
  • fixed in early design phase rather than after delivery:
  • 100 times (Boehm, 1987)
  • Estimated amount of software code saved by
  • prototyping compared to not prototyping: 40%
  • (Boehm et al., 1984)
  • Rank of user involvement as predictor of successful
  • projects: 1 (The Standish Group, 1994)
usability benefits money
Usability Benefits – Money
  • Estimated sales increase for SQL Explorer 5.0 vs. 4.0
  • due to usability improvements: 25% (Landry, 2001)
  • Increase in e-commerce sales after improving usability
  • on IBM.com: 400% (Tedeschi, 1999)
  • Increase in daily online purchases after improving
  • usability on Dell.com: $33 million (Black, 2002)
general usability principles
General Usability Principles
  • Know your user.
  • You’re not the user.
  • Iterate. Iterate. Iterate.
  • Consistency is usability.
  • The user is in control. (example)
  • Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.
  • Make important stuff look important.
  • Avoid errors. (example)
  • Accessibility improves usability. (example)
example for user is in control
Example for “User is in control”
  • Needs a “Skip Intro” hyperlink
common user interface project
Common User Interface Project
  • Goal: Common visual “look” for all BMC products,
  • documentation, and marketing materials
  • Advantages:
    • Addresses customer preferences
    • Improves BMC branding
    • Improves ease of use
    • Decreases development time
    • Decreases QA evaluation time
    • Reduces maintenance costs
  • Status
    • Presented idea to various internal BMC groups
    • Got feedback from customers
    • Currently iterating Web-based design
accessibility
Accessibility
  • Required for Federal electronic and information
  • technology purchases by Section 508 of the
  • Rehabilitation Act of 1998
  • Requires equivalent functional access for persons with
  • disabilities compared to persons without disabilities
  • Spreading beyond Federal government
  • Provides a marketing opportunity for us
some accessibility requirements
Some Accessibility Requirements
  • “Color coding shall not be used as the only means of
  • conveying information, indicating an action, prompting
  • a response, or distinguishing a visual element.”
  • (example)
  • “When electronic forms are used, the form shall allow
  • people using assistive technology to access the
  • information, field elements, and functionality required
  • for completion and submission of the form, including all
  • directions and cues.”
  • “Support services for products shall accommodate the
  • communication needs of end-users with disabilities.”
browser accessibility
Browser Accessibility
  • “A text equivalent for every non-text element shall be
  • provided (e.g., via "alt", "longdesc", or in element
  • content).”
  • “Row and column headers shall be identified for data
  • tables.” (example)
  • “Markup shall be used to associate data cells and
  • header cells for data tables that have two or more
  • logical levels of row or column headers.” (example)
example of associate data cells and header cells two or more logical levels
Example of “associate data cells and header cells … two or more logical levels”
  • <TABLE
  • BORDER=1 CELLPADDING=3 CELLSPACING=1 FRAME=BOX
  • summary="This database status summary table
  • lists the Status, Office, Datasource, and DBMS
  • (column headings) and the regions (rows)">
  • <CAPTION>Database Backups</CAPTION>
  • <TR>
  • <TH></TH>
  • <TH id="c2">Status</TH>
  • <TH id="c3">Office</TH>
  • <TH id="c4">Datasource</TH>
  • <TH id="c5">DBMS</TH>
  • </TR>
  • <TR> <TH id="r2">East Region</TH>
  • <TD></TD><TD></TD><TD></TD><TD></TD></TR>
  • <TR> <TD id="r3" ></TD>
  • <TD headers="c2 r2 r3">Failed</TD>
  • <TD headers="c3 r2 r3">New York</TD>
  • <TD headers="c4 r2 r3">zimbabwe : ZIM817MA</TD>
  • <TD headers="c5 r2 r3">Oracle 8.0.5</TD></TR>
  • .
  • .
  • .
  • </TABLE>
browser accessibility24
Browser Accessibility
  • “When pages utilize scripting languages to display
  • content, or to create interface elements, the
  • information provided by the script shall be identified
  • with functional text that can be read by assistive
  • technology.”
  • “When a web page requires that an applet, plug-in or
  • other application be present on the client system to
  • interpret page content, the page must provide a link to
  • a plug-in or applet that complies with §1194.21(a)
  • through (l).”
  • “A method shall be provided that permits users to skip
  • repetitive navigation links.” (example)
example of skip repetitive navigation links
Example of “skip repetitive navigation links”

<a href="#main"><img alt="Skip to main content" height="1" width="1" border="0" src="//www.ibm.com/i/c.gif"/></a>

. . .

<a name="main"><!--Main Content--></a> . . .

getting usability services
Getting Usability Services
  • Usability services include:
    • Getting usability person assigned to your project
    • Having usability person perform usability review
    • Creating visual designs
    • Getting assistance with accessibility
  • Contact:
    • Tony Haverda, manager, Interface Design and Usability
      • Tony_Haverda@bmc.com
      • Internal 2-6474
usability resources
Usability Resources
  • BMC Usability Web site: http://usability.bmc.com/
  • Feigenbaum, B. A. (2002, October 1). Coding for
  • accessibility – Use JFC/Swing to build accessibility into
  • your Java applications [On-line]. Available:
  • http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/java/
  • library/j-access/
  • Hom, James (2003). Usability methods toolbox [On-
  • line]. Available: http://jthom.best.vwh.net/usability/
  • Nielsen, J. Useit.com – Jakob Nielsen’s Web site [On-
  • line]. Available: http://www.useit.com
usability resources continued
Usability Resources (Continued)
  • Sun Microsystems (2003). Accessibility quick reference
  • [On-line]. Available: http://www.sun.com/access/
  • developers/access.quick.ref.html#apptips
  • Vredenburg, K., Isenssee, S., & Righi, C. (2001). User-
  • centered design: An integrated approach. Prentice
  • Hall: Upper Saddle River, NJ.
summary
Summary
  • For maximum usability:
    • Start usability work early
    • Identify users and their objectives
    • Keep users involved throughout the project
    • Iterate designs quickly, easily, and cheaply
    • Evaluate usability with representative users
references
References
  • Black, J. (2002, December 4). Usability is next to
  • profitability. BusinessWeek Online [On-line]. Available:
  • http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/
  • dec2002/tc2002124_2181.htm
  • Boehm, B. (1987). Industrial software metrics top 10
  • list. IEEE Software, 4(5), 84-85.
  • Boehm, B. W., Gray, T. E., & Seewaldt, T. (1984).
  • Prototyping vs. specifying: A multi-project experiment.
  • IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, 10(3), 290-
  • 333.
references31
References
  • Landry, R. (2001, September 24). Usability ROI. BMC
  • internal memo to Neil Backes from Scott Isensee.
  • Statement by Rich Landry, SQL Explorer product
  • manager.
  • Karat, C.-M. (1990). Cost-benefit analysis of usability
  • engineering techniques. Proceedings of the Human
  • Factors Society, Orlando, Florida, 839-843.
  • Section 508 standards [On-line]. Available:
  • http://www.section508.gov/index.cfm
references32
References
  • Tedeschi, B. (1999, August 30). Good Web site design
  • can lead to healthy sales. New York Times e-commerce
  • report [On-line]. Available: http://www.nytimes.com/
  • library/tech/99/08/cyber/commerce/
  • 30commerce.html
  • The Standish Group (1994). The CHAOS report [On-
  • line]. Available: http://standishgroup.com/
  • sample_research/chaos_1994_1.php
thank you
Thank You
  • To get a copy of this presentation:
  • Go to http://usability.bmc.com
  • Click on “Usability Brown Bag”
  • To get usability services:
    • Contact Tony Haverda, manager, Interface Design and Usability
      • Tony_Haverda@bmc.com
      • Internal 2-6474
  • Usability lab tour!