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Are Design Standards Any Use for Designing Systems? Marguerite Autry, Ph.D. Bill Killam, MA CHFP 20548 Deerwatch Place Ashburn, VA 20147 (703) 729-0998.

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Presentation on theme: "Are Design Standards Any Use for Designing Systems? Marguerite Autry, Ph.D. Bill Killam, MA CHFP 20548 Deerwatch Place Ashburn, VA 20147 (703) 729-0998."— Presentation transcript:

1 Are Design Standards Any Use for Designing Systems? Marguerite Autry, Ph.D. Bill Killam, MA CHFP Deerwatch Place Ashburn, VA (703)

2 What is a standard?

3 Standards  “Something, such as a practice or a product, that is widely recognized or employed, especially because of its excellence.” –Dictionary.com (Definition 5)

4 Guidelines (de Souza & Bevan)  Guidelines… –…a useful compilation of HCI knowledge –…an authoritative source of advice for designers –…a means of transferring knowledge to designers as part of educational or training courses

5 Style Guide  Style – The combination of distinctive features of literary or artistic expression, execution, or performance characterizing a particular person, group, school, or era.  Guide – Something, such as a pamphlet, that offers basic information or instruction - Dictionary.com

6 Specification  A detailed, exact statement of particulars, especially a statement prescribing materials, dimensions, and quality of work for something to be built, installed, or manufactured. – Dictionary.com

7 Standards, Guidelines and Style Guides Are Different from Specifications  Horizontal Market –MIL-STD-1472 –IEEE P1583 –The Windows Interface: An Application Design Guide  Do not address specific designs, but design areas –Sequence control –Accessibility

8 Why have a standard?

9 Why have standards?  To allow a product to “relate” to other products  To meet legal requirements  To assure quality and consistency when more than one creator is responsible  To ensure industry best practices are used  To create a usable or more usable product

10 Who would use the standards?

11 Who would use…  Human factors specialist  Interaction Designer  IA  Graphic Designer  Content Writer  Software Analyst  Hardware Analyst  Systems Engineer  Software Coder  Hardware Expert  Tester/QA  Manager

12 How are standards used?

13 Mosier and Smith Survey Says the Purposes are…  As an aid during design  To establish requirements in advance of design  To evaluate a proposed design  To evaluate a completed design 62% 46% 41% 25%

14 Types of Standards

15  Standards for safety: Cars, food, drugs, highways,  Standards to assure fairness and consistency: Weights and measures  Standards to assure interoperability: CD’s and CD players  Structural standards that describes static, intrinsic properties of an object for interchangeability: the size, shape, color, etc.  Functional standards specifies how an object behaves or is capable of behaving  Performance standards are similar to functional standards but includes some metric of quality and a given threshold for that metric  Process standards that define the analysis, design, and development process

16 Standards for HCI Design  Standards containing design data –DoD –ISO, ANSI, and HFES standards –Commercial Standards –Public Style Guides –Guidelines Documents –Books on Design  Process Standards that describe the process that is to be used during a design process –DoD –ISO –Book on Design

17 Standards Containing Design Data

18 Issue 1: Which Standards to Apply?  Client-Server –Guidelines For Designing User Interface Software - Smith & Mosier (744 guidelines) –The Essentials of User Interface Design – Cooper –Human-Computer Interface Design Guidelines – Brown –Microsoft, Apple, Motif, OpenLook, IBM CUA Style Guide

19 Issue 1: Which Standards to Apply? (continued)  Client Server (continued) –ISO 9241 (17 parts) –ISO/IEC : Dialogue interaction - Cursor control for text editing –ISO 9241:10: Dialogue principles –ISO 9241:12: Presentation of information –ISO 9241:13: User guidance –ISO 9241:14: Menu dialogues –ISO 9241:15: Command dialogues –ISO 9241:16: Direct manipulation dialogues –ISO 9241:17: Form filling dialogues

20 Issue 1: Which Standards to Apply? (continued)  Client Server (concluded) –ISO/IEC 11581: Icon symbols and functions –ISO 11064: Ergonomic design of control centers –ISO 13406: Ergonomic requirements for work with visual displays based on flat panels –ISO 14915: Software ergonomics for multimedia user interfaces –ISO/IEC 14754: Pen-based interfaces - Common Gestures for text editing with pen-based systems –IEC TR 61997: Guidelines for the user interfaces in multimedia equipment for general purpose use –ISO/IEC 18021: Information Technology - User interface for mobile tools

21 Issue 1: Which Standards to Apply? (continued)  Content –New York Times Manual of Style and Usage –Chicago Manual of Style - University of Chicago –Elements of Style-Strunk and White –Developing Quality Technical Information: A Handbook for Writers and Editors- Hargis, Rouiller, Wilde –ISO 9001:2000 Documentation Requirements

22 Issue 1: Which Standards to Apply? (continued)  Web Sites –Designing Web Usability : The Practice of Simplicity - by Nielsen –Usability for the Web: Designing Web Sites that Work - Brinck –Web Usability and Navigation: A Beginner's Guide - Merlyn Holmes –Son of Web Pages That Suck: Learn Good Design by Looking at Bad Design - Flanders & Peters –Site-Seeing: A Visual Approach to Web Usability - Wroblewski –Web Bloopers : 60 Common Web Design Mistakes, and How to Avoid Them - Johnson –Shaping Web Usability: Interaction Design in Context – Badre –200 e-commerce guidelines –Standards for Online Communication- Hackos –101 Standards for Online Communication-Stevens

23 Issue 1: Which Standards to Apply? (concluded)  Accessibility –ISO DTS 16071: Guidance on accessibility for human-computer interfaces –W3C Web Accessibility Initiatives (WAI) –Section 508 Web Accessibility for People With Disabilities - Paciello, –Maximum Accessibility: Making Your Web Site More Usable for Everyone - Slatin & Rush –Accessibility for Everybody: Understanding the Section 508 Accessibility Requirements - Mueller (Author) –Understanding Accessibility - Yonaitis –Guidelines for Accessible Web Site: Technology & Users - Ward, Rubens, Southard

24 Issue 2: Vagueness  “Do not use words that typical users may not understand”  “Ensure that tab labels are clearly descriptive of their function or destination”  “Limit the amount of white space…”  “…mechanically operated controls and keys shall be tactilely discernible…”  “Provide content that, when presented to the user, conveys essentially the same function or purpose as auditory or visual content”  Color coding shall not be used as the only means of conveying information, indicating an action, prompting a response, or distinguishing a visual element...  Character size should be large enough to be easily read from the expected viewing distance…

25 Issue 3: Lack of Complete Guidance  When products provide auditory output, the audio signal shall be provided at a standard signal level  When a product permits a user to adjust color and contrast settings, a range of color selections capable of producing a variety of contrast levels shall be provided

26 Issue 4: Interpretation  The preferred subtended angle of arc for a font shall be 22 minutes, where Φ = 2 tan -1 [h/2d]

27 Issue 5: Interaction and Application in the Real World  Conflicts between various sources, various concerns, and various design domains  Standards are developed and tested under specific conditions. They cannot be generalized to all populations, activities, and environments.  Standards are developed by isolating variables; therefore, interaction issues between individual standards are not accounted for. –Selection of font type can effect character size requirements –Character size, contrast ratio, lighting conditions can effect and even overcome the individual standards

28 Issue 6: Technology Issues  Guidelines across varying technologies –PDA, Cell phone, and LSD delivery –Browser- types and capabilities  Guidelines based on changing environments –Screen sizes –Download speeds  Guidelines based on emerging technologies –e.g., screen readers –Wide screen vs 4:3 aspect ratio displays

29 Issue 7: Strictly Following Standard Can Yield Less Than Desirable Results  Variations on a Theme (by Thomas Payne)… –Times like these try men’s souls –How trying it is to live in these times –These are trying times for men’s souls –Soulwise, these are trying times – E.B. White  Awkward Results –“This is the sort of English up with which I will not put.” – Winston Churchill (attributed)  Valid, but useless… –Purple dreams sleep furiously.

30 How to Treat Standards Containing Design Data “Since the book is a rule book, these cautionary remarks, these subtly dangerous hints are presented in the form of rules, but they are, in essence, mere gentle reminders: they state what most of us know and at times forget.” “Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly” – E.B. White, The Elements of Style – the Dali Lama

31 Process Standards

32 What are Process Standards?  Standardize roles and responsibilities  Standardize activities that need to occur in a design, their order, and the intended interaction  Enforce a separation of design and build/code efforts

33 Corporate Standards

34  Company wide procedures  Company wide or Product Line specific style guides –Documentation of Design Decisions –Standardize common elements of a corporation’s product line –Corporate branding –Widget level standardization –Gadget level standardization –Visual layout  Culmination of data from multiple sources  Standardize documentation required to get from guidelines and design data to product specifications  Standardize product evaluations and levels for acceptance

35 How does it all fit into the design & development process? Graphics Team Content Writers Coders Interaction Designers Management Corporate Standards Product Specification QA

36 Are Design Standards Any Use for Designing Systems?

37 Conclusions 1.Design handbooks, design guidelines, style guides, and standards containing design data, are all valuable, but are best for teaching and learning – not for doing. Designers should know them before starting a design. 2.Design standards are good for reference, provided they are specific to the design domain (and not too general) but are not for designers to have to read and follow. These should be gathered from different sources as a starting point, tailored for the domain and corporation, and re-evaluated each time they are used. 3.Designs should be evaluated against design standards to ensure that any deviations were intentional. 4.Designs should be evaluated against performance standards to ensure the product works as desired, regardless of violating existing guidelines or standards. 5.Design specifications should be developed from the designers knowledge of guidelines and standards within the specific design domain. 6.Process standards are more important, as well as dedicated, skilled people.

38 There are no Guarantees and no Design Cookbook  Good products come out of a good design process, but only if… –You use experienced design personnel  Who already know the standards for design within their field  Who know where to look for additional data when needed  Who have the time and drive to do this work –“Corporate” standards are used to provide additional design data and to establish consistent products –Procedures are in place to allow for a sufficient design effort to occur, including testing design assumptions and obtaining user feedback, before products are developed


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