interactivity n.
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interactivity. easy to focus on look what about feel?. Speech–driven interfaces. rapidly improving … … but still inaccurate how to have robust dialogue? … interaction of course! e.g. airline reservation: reliable “yes” and “no”. Look and … feel.

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easy to focus on look

what about feel?

speech driven interfaces
Speech–driven interfaces
  • rapidly improving … … but still inaccurate
  • how to have robust dialogue? … interaction of course!
  • e.g. airline reservation: reliable “yes” and “no”
look and feel
Look and … feel
  • WIMP systems have the same elements:windows, icons., menus, pointers, buttons, etc.
  • but different window systems … behave differently
    • e.g. MacOS vs Windows menus
  • Interactivity is also crucial in determining the ‘feel’ of a WIMP environment.
  • appearance + behaviour = look and feel
understanding and choosing widgets

understanding and choosing widgets

widgets - bits that make the GUI

what do they do

what are they good for

one by one wimp elements
one-by-one – WIMP elements
  • widgets - bits that make the GUI
  • what do they do
  • what are they good for
  • individual items on a GUI screen ...
    • checkboxes, menus, toolbars, buttons etc.
  • three aspects:
    • appearance - what they look like
    • interaction - how they behave
    • semantics - what they mean
appearance includes words
appearance includes words
  • verbs - action words
    • quit, exit, embolden, italicise
  • adjectives - description/state words
    • bold, italic
  • nouns - usually as a form of description
    • Times New Roman, US Letter
  • beware of mixes …
    • embolden + italic !!?!

Move mouse over button – highlights

Move mouse off target withbutton still down – highlight removed

Release mouse – nothing happens

behaviour ctd
behaviour … ctd.
  • some bits the toolkit does for you
    • but is it right?
  • some you control
    • e.g. drawing, interactions between widgets
  • beware timing issues
    • e.g. large selections under Windows apps.
  • menus, buttons,…, etc.
  • do things …

… lets make it bold italic

you say what it means
YOU say what it means
  • semantics usually up to you
    • although widgets may link direct to database
    • even then, you say what links
  • think separately:
    • meaning first - what you want it to do
    • then appearance - how you do it
  • choose the widget for the job
what do you want
what do you want?
  • actions
    • usually menu, buttons, or toolbar
  • setting state/options
    • usually checkbox, radio button, combi-box
  • but …
    • menus can be used to set state etc. ...
how many
how many?
  • one of several options
    • radio buttons, selection menu
  • zero, one or more options
    • checkbox, multi-choice menu
  • free choice
    • offer recent/typical shortcuts
    • one line text boxes often terrible!
and more
and more ...
  • number
    • fixed e.g. bold, italic, underline
    • variable e.g. font list
    • scolling through telephone list …
  • liveness
    • grey out inactive options
  • dynamic interactions
    • some choices dependent on others
  • who has the initiative? old question–answer – computer WIMP interface – user
  • modal dialog boxes
    • come and won’t go away!
    • good for errors, essential steps
    • but use with care
    • When a major fault has been detected, or for certain kinds of instructional software
error and repair
Interactivity is also critical in dealing with errors.

. If users can detect errors then they can correct them

can’t always avoid errors … … but we can put them right

make it easy to detect errors … then the user can repair them

Error and repair

Interaction affected by social and organizational context

This interaction does not occur within a vacuum.

We have already noted some of the physical factors in the environment that can directly

affect the quality of the interaction


other people

    • desire to impress, competition, fear of failure
    • The presence of other people in a work environment affects the performance of the worker in any task
  • motivation
    • In order to perform well, users must be motivated.
    • fear, allegiance, ambition and self-satisfaction.
  • inadequate systems
    • cause frustration and lack of motivation
experience engagement and fun

Experience, engagement and fun

designing experience

physical engagement

managing value

  • home, entertainment, shopping
    • not enough that people can use a system
    • Shopping is as much about going to theshops, feeling the clothes, being with friends
    • they must want to use it!
    • You can go shopping and never intend to spend money.
    • Shopping is not about an efficient financial transaction, it is an experience.
designing experience
Designing experience
  • real crackers
    • cheap and cheerful!
    • bad joke, plastic toy, paper hat
    • pull and bang
designing experience1
Designing experience
  • virtual crackers
    • cheap and cheerful
    • bad joke, web toy, cut-out mask
    • click and bang
designing experience2
Designing experience
  • virtual crackers
    • cheap and cheerful
    • bad joke, web toy, cut-out mask
    • click and bang
how crackers work

To: wxv

From: ..

fill in web form

receive email

closedcracker page







recipient clicks

cracker opens ...

very slowly




opencracker page

web toy


how crackers work
physical design
Physical design
  • many constraints:
    • ergonomic – minimum button size
    • physical – high-voltage switches are big
    • legal and safety – high cooker controls
    • context and environment – easy to clean
    • aesthetic – must look good
    • economic – … and not cost too much!
design trade offs
Design trade-offs

constraints are contradictory … need trade-offs

within categories:

  • e.g. safety – cooker controls
    • front panel – safer for adult
    • rear panel – safer for child

between categories

  • e.g. ergonomics vs. physical – MiniDisc remote
    • ergonomics – controls need to be bigger
    • physical – no room!
    • solution – multifunction controls & reduced functionality
managing value
people use somethingONLY IF it has perceived valueAND value exceeds cost


exceptions (e.g. habit)

value NOT necessarily personal gain or money

Managing value
weighing up value
Weighing up value


  • helps me get my work done
  • fun
  • good for others


  • download time
  • money £, $, €
  • learning effort
discounted future
Discounted future
  • in economics Net Present Value:
    • discount by (1+rate)years to wait
  • in life people heavily discount
    • future value and future cost
    • hence resistance to learning
    • need low barriersand high perceived present value
example hci book search
example – HCI book search
  • value for people who have the book helps you to look up things
        • chapter and page number
  • value for those who don’t … sort of online mini-encyclopaedia
        • full paragraph of context
  • … but also says “buy me”!!

… but also says “buy me”!!

value and organisational design
Value and organisational design
  • coercion
      • tell people what to do!
      • value = keep your job
  • enculturation
      • explain corporate values
      • establish support (e.g share options)
  • emergence
      • design process so thatindividuals value  organisational value
general lesson
General lesson …

if you want someone to do something …

  • make it easy for them!
  • understand their values
thank you

Thank You

Next week

interaction design basics