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CS305: HCI in SW Development More on Detailed Design: Layout Hardware Choices.

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Presentation on theme: "CS305: HCI in SW Development More on Detailed Design: Layout Hardware Choices."— Presentation transcript:

1 CS305: HCI in SW Development More on Detailed Design: Layout Hardware Choices

2 Combining UI Elements in a Design Hardware and SW elements together make up a UI Layout: How elements are combined

3 Principles of Good Layout 1.Create natural groupings 2.Separate currently active components 3.Emphasize important components 4.Use “white space” effectively (or: separate components when appropriate) 5.Make controls visible 6.Balance aesthetics and usability

4 Comments on Layout Principles Create natural groupings –Both commands/controls and information displayed –Is there a natural structure? –Use color, fonts, separators etc. Separate Currently Active Components –Help user focus on what they’re doing now. –Can pick back up if interrupted –Make things prominent by color, placement,…

5 Comments on Layout Principles Emphasize important components –Use color, type, animations, etc. –Be selective Use “white space” effectively (or: separate components when appropriate) –White-space in GUIs, physical space on physical devices –Alternative to lines, colors –Supports grouping for perception –In physical devices, supports physical usability

6 Comments on Layout Principles Make controls visible –Support recognition over recall –Control must be obvious, but also the controls function –Consider conventions, consistency, … Balance aesthetics and usability –Some say: “Looking pretty is half the battle” –How important? What trade-offs?

7 Comments on Layout Principles Create natural groupings –Both commands/controls and information displayed –Is there a natural structure? –Use color, fonts, separators etc. Separate Currently Active Components –Help user focus on what they’re doing now. –Can pick back up if interrupted –Make things prominent by color, placement,…

8 Gestalt Principles Gestalt psychologists: layout principles Proximity –Users will associate things that are close together Similarity –If two things have same shape, size, color, orientation, then users will associate them Continuity –We want to see things aligned into continuous lines and curves Closure –We want to see simple closed forms (blocks, lines) rather than random, distinct items Symmetry –We see regions bounded by symmetrical borders as a coherent thing

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10 Hardware for Interaction Do you really have choices here? –Maybe you’re just writing for a PC’s windowed interface –Maybe you’re designing a handheld device General or for specialized users Still… you may have choices here –Choice of typing vs. mouse movement –Development on Tablet PCs –Handhelds: wheels of various types, etc. –Wiimote

11 Input Devices: Keyboards Keyboards –Traditional computer keyboard not designed for efficiency –Alternatives: Dvorak, chord, kids, etc. See textbook for examples More interesting: smaller handhelds –Do you need a keyboard? –Can you use “soft-keys” instead? –Size of buttons –Layout

12 Input Devices: Pointing Devices Continuous input devices –Moving, dragging –Keyboards are discrete input devices Indirect: mouse, joystick, trackball Direct: touch-screen, pen You may have choices: –Example: touch-screen in kiosk etc. –Must re-think ideas of buttons, menu, etc. Freed from many PC WIMP conventions

13 Are There Real Differences? See info on devices from p. 236 in UIDE text –But read the caveats for this –How would you evaluate different devices? Questions to ask: –How important is learnability? –How important is accuracy? –How important is efficiency? –Environment: when and where used? –How much space is there? –User characteristics? Dexterity etc.

14 Tablet PC Issues Tablet PCs offer a familiar interface –But with an fairly un-common input device Pen used for pointing, selecting, dragging –Some examples next Ink input used for data-entry –nothing on this today Article on website: The Challenge of Designing Interfaces for the Tablet PC

15 Parallax –Glass and display not in same plane –Your eye not always properly aligned Consequence? Solutions? –Tell me.

16 Issues with Tablets and Menus Is it an issue if your user is left- or right- handed? For tablet PCs, can’t see through your hand!

17 Sometimes Bigger Is Better

18 Fitts’ Law (Paul Fitts 1954) The law predicts that the time to point at an object using a device is a function of the distance from the target object & the object’s size. Time = a + b log (Dist/Size + 1) The further away & the smaller the object, the longer the time to locate it and point. Useful for evaluating systems for which the time to locate an object is important such as handheld devices like mobile phones

19 Why oh why? What’s wrong with Windows 2000’s start button? Why are Mac apps menu bars on the top of the screen? (next slide)

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21 Interesting article on Fitts’ Law Visit Tog’s website and do Tog’s quiz, designed to give you fitts! veFitts.html Note this point: Screen edges effectively have “infinite” depth. No need to slow down. Corners…

22 Understand Fitts’ Law? Is there a benefit to having a label under the icon on the Windows desktop? If you have an auto-hidden Taskbar on Windows, how can this be irritating? Does this confirm something about Fitts’ Law? Tweaking hierarchical pull-down menus – how could this be done? Why an improvement? How would Fitts’ law impact your layout of buttons, fields, etc. in a dialog box?

23 Imagine Exercise You’re Tom Cruise in Minority Report!!! –You have a BIG display and hand/pen inputs Got any clever ideas that use Fitts’ Law to improve the interface?

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25 Next: Guidance, guidelines –“Guidance” means: rules, policies, standards “Softer” UI Components

26 Guidance for UI Design Other than textbook’s, other guidance Guidelines for physical design Nielsen’s heuristics Shneiderman’s eight golden rules Styles guides: commercial, corporate decide ‘look and feel’ for you widgets prescribed, e.g. icons, toolbar

27 Usability principles (Nielsen 2001) Visibility of system status Match between system and the real world User control and freedom Consistency and standards Help users recognize, diagnose and recover from errors Error prevention Recognition rather than recall Flexibility and efficiency of use Aesthetic and minimalist design Help and documentation

28 Shneiderman’s 8 Golden Rules Strive for consistency Enable frequent users to use shortcuts Offer informative feedback Design dialogs to yield closure Offer error prevention and simple error handling Permit easy reversal of actions Support internal locus of control Reduce short-term memory load

29 Other Guidance Commercial vendors guidelines –Apple Macintosh –Microsoft Windows –Community: Java, OSF See Web site for links Also, international usability standards

30 UI Elements: Text and Color Lots we could talk about here –We’ll cover text and color

31 Using Text Well Goal: legibility Font is typeface + size Factors to consider –Sans serif better than serif on screen –Not too big, not too small 10 or 12 point is smallest –Extended chunks of bold or italic harder to read –Spacing between lines Too much and lines don’t group in user’s mind

32 Using Text Well (2) Underlining: a web-link or emphasis? –Consistency –Common issue on web-pages Background / font-color combinations –Black on white –Lighter on darker (e.g. presentations in large rooms) –See page 254 in UIDE text –Some you should avoid? Can you read this easily?

33 Web Issues and Text Keep text to a minimum –50% of what you’d had in printed form –Lists not paragraphs Help users scan for information –Good headings and subheadings –Highlight important things –Good organization Divide long blocks into sections or pages

34 UI Elements: Color Reasons for using color: –To draw attention –To show status –To make information clearer (like legibility) –To make the UI more attractive The physics of color –Saturation, brightness –Differs on screen –See text or other texts

35 Color Connotations Colors have connotations –Cultural conventions –What’s red mean in your culture? Danger? Joy, luck? Red state vs. blue state in US? Labour vs. Conservative in Britain? –Other colors: Green: nature or jealous, inexperienced Yellow: light/bright or caution

36 Class Exercise Information visualization –measure something by unit in a larger thing –E.g. word-frequency by chapter in a novel –Goal: quickly see patterns of high/low frequency Question: how could color be used? –Issues, problems, ?

37 Color for Information Representation Need to convey information? –Color for emphasis –Color for grouping Areas of the screen may have different background etc. –Color coding (status) –Perspective Dark/dim for background, brighter for foreground –Layering: if data falls into layers Example: Look at simple apps like Microsoft Windows’ calculator –What colors are there? Why?

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