CS 501: Software Engineering Designing for Usability II CS 501 Spring 2002

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CS 501: Software Engineering
Lecture 12
Designing for Usability II
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CS 501 Spring 2002
Administration
Requirements document
An example will be discussed in class
See also the web site associated with the
text book
Assignment 2 Questionnaire
Everybody should reply
Email to [email protected]
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Planning for the Presentation
1. Who is the audience? What do they want to learn?
The client(s): Do you understand their requirements? Is
this the system that they want?
2. How much time do you have? How much detail can you
cover?
45 minutes for set-up, presentation and discussion. Prepare
30 minutes presentation. Do nor be superficial but there is
not time to go into all details.
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Planning for the Presentation
3. What facilities are in the room?
Computer projector, Ethernet, conference telephone, screen,
overhead projector, whiteboards.
4. What materials should you prepare?
Report -- either hand out paper copies or distribute by
email. Slides for computer projection (PowerPoint, web, or
similar) or overhead foils.
Bring a laptop if you have one. Otherwise, let your TA
know if you will need a computer or other equipment.
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The Presentation
5. Speakers
Either have one person act as moderator or hand off
sequentially, one speaker at a time.
6. Questions
The speaker should decide who answers questions.
Do not interrupt the speaker. If you think that you can
answer a question, raise your hand and wait for the speaker
to ask you.
Have a full rehearsal of your presentation
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Usability: Requirements and Refinement
It is very difficult to specify and comprehend an interactive
interface in a textual documents.
• Requirement documents benefit from sketches, comparison with
existing systems, etc.
• Design documents should definitely include graphical elements
and often benefit from a mock-up or other form of prototype.
• Implementation plans should include evaluation of user factors
and time to make changes.
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User Interfaces: Iterative Design
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Evaluation
Requirements
Implementation
(prototype)
Design
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Methods for Specifying Requirements
and Evaluation of Usability
• Observing users (user protocols)
• Focus groups
• Measurements
effectiveness in carrying out tasks
speed
• Expert review
• Client's opinions
• Competitive analysis
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Example: the NSDL
The National Science Digital Library (NSDL)
• A major program of the National Science Foundation (NSF).
• Comprehensive digital library of all materials relevant to
science education, broadly defined.
• $25 million per year for 6 years.
• 64 grants to universities and other not-for-profit universities.
• Technical leadership from Cornell.
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NSDL: the Start
First thoughts
• Users of the NSDL will be very diverse: K-12, university,
adults; students and teachers.
• Very high variations in computers and networks available to
users.
• Volume of material prohibits designing every screen
individually.
Interface creation will be a major part of the project.
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NSDL: Getting Started
Strategy
• Hire a senior interface designer
• During the first year (2000-2001), build a throwaway demonstration system
http://www.siteforscience.org/
• Then move to a systematic software development
process
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NSDL: The Demonstration System
What we learned:
User requirements
• Because of the diversity of users, more than one portal is
needed
"One library, many portals"
Technical requirements
• Portals must be data driven: experiments with RSS
channels
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• Interface components and graphical elements will be used
in many different places
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NSDL: The Requirements Process
During winter 2002 ...
• Informal meetings to discuss design concepts, e.g., review
methods other systems use to display search results
• Prepared a series of documents on
(a) system requirements, e.g., hardware/software, users
with disabilities
(b) functional requirements
• Technical review and small pilots of portal toolkit software
• Mock-ups of graphical design
http://portals.comm.nsdlib.org/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?User_Interface_and_Portals
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NSDL: Design mock-ups
Show Carol Terrizzi's design mock-ups.
[End of NSDL example]
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Information Presentation
Information to
be displayed
Presentation
software
Display
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Information Presentation
•
Text
precise, unambiguous
fast to compute and transmit
•
Graphics
simple to comprehend
uses of color
shows variations
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Command Line Interfaces
User interacts with computer by typing commands
• Allows complex instructions to be given to computer
• Facilitates formal methods of specification & implementation
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•
•
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Skilled users can input commands quickly
Requires learning or training
Can be adapted for people with disabilities
Can be multi-lingual
• Suitable for scripting / non-human clients
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Direct Interaction
User interacts with computer by manipulating objects on
screen
• Can be intuitive and easy to learn
• Users get immediate feedback
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•
•
•
•
•
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Not suitable for some complex interactions
Does not require typing skills
Straightforward for casual users, slow for skilled users
Icons can be language-independent
Difficult to build scripts
Only suitable for human users
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Design for Direct Manipulation
• Conceptual models, metaphors, icons
=> there may not be an intuitive model
• Navigation around large space
• Conventions are growing over the years
=> scroll bars, buttons, help systems, sliders
=> good for users, good for designers
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Menus
• Easy for users to learn and use
• Certain categories of error are avoided
• Enables context-sensitive help
Major difficulty is structure of large menus
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•
•
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Scrolling menus (e.g., states of USA)
Hierarchical
Associated control panels
Menus plus command line
Users prefer broad and shallow to deep menu systems
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Help System Design
Help system design is difficult!
• Must prototype with mixed users
• Categories of help:
=> Overview and general information
=> Specific or context information
=> Tutorials (general)
=> Cook books and wizards
=> Emergency ("I am in trouble ...")
• Must have many routes to same information
Never blame the user!
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System Considerations of User
Interfaces
• Personal computer cycles are there to be used
• Any network transfer involves delay
• Shared systems have unpredictable performance
• Data validation often requires access to shared data
• Mobile code poses security risks
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Extensibility in Web Browsers
• Data types:
helper applications, plug-ins
• Protocols
HTTP, WAIS, Gopher, FTP, etc.
proxies
• Executable code
CGI scripts at server
JavaScript at client
Java applets
• Style sheets
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Web Interface: Basic
Web browser
Web servers
• Static pages from server
• All interaction requires communication with server
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Web User Interface: CGI Script
User interface
tables
CGI
Scripts
Web browser
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Web servers
• Scripts can configure pages
• Scripts can validate information
• All interaction requires communication with server
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Web User Interface: JavaScript
html
Java
Script
Web browser
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User interface
tables
CGI
Scripts
Web servers
• JavaScripts can validate information as typed
• Some interactions are local
• Server interaction constrained by web protocols
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Web User Interface: Applet
Any
server
Applets
Web browser
Web servers
• Any executable code can run on client
• Client can connect to any server
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Device-Aware User Interfaces
• Examples of devices:
desk-top computer, fast network connection
laptop computer, intermittent connectivity
PalmPilot, intermittent use of cradle
Smart telephone
Digital camera, camcorder
• Device-aware user interfaces are aware of:
=> Performance of device
=> Connectivity
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The Importance of Design
Good support for users is more than a cosmetic flourish
• Elegant design, appropriate functionality, & responsive system:
=> a measurable difference to their effectiveness
• A system that is hard to use:
=> users may fail to find important results,
or mis-interpret what they do find
=> user may give up in disgust
A computer system is only as good as the interface it provides to
its users
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