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Don Norman’s User-Centered Design

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Presentation on theme: "Don Norman’s User-Centered Design"— Presentation transcript:

1 Don Norman’s User-Centered Design
Applied to teaching Final Cut Pro for Digital Video Editing Kent Golden

2 What is User Centered Design?
User-centered design is the process in which the needs, wants, and limitations of the end user are given priority during the phases of design. Don Norman’s guidelines suggest optimizing the user interface and experiences, based on how people are able, and want to work, instead of forcing them to adapt and change themselves to work better with the system as designed.

3 “Pilot error” and “human error”
“Darn these hooves! I hit the wrong switch again! Who designs these instrument panels, raccoons?”

4 “Pilot error” and “human error”
“The Fuel Light’s on, Frank! We’re all going to die!... We’re all going to die!... Wait, wait…Oh, my mistake – that’s the intercom light.”

5 Human Factors: Is the elevator stuck or is the reactor about to melt-down?

6 Affordances: Door Quiz
Say out loud what action you should use to open the door: Push Pull







13 Do These help solve the problem?
Mean – do they help average person, not tech support person. Error should say – close the program and re-open. If that doesn’t work, reboot. If that doesn’t work, call tech support.

14 Norman’s “Seven Principles for Transforming Difficult Tasks into Simple Ones” (Norman 1988):
Use both knowledge in the world and knowledge in the head. Simplify the structure of tasks. Make things visible: bridge the gulfs of Execution and Evaluation. Get the mappings right. Exploit the power of constraints, both natural and artificial. Design for error. When all else fails, standardize.

15 Apple’s Final Cut Pro Digital Video editing program Expensive ($1,299)
Difficult to use (manuals) The standard (especially in Apple circles) Education Art Very useful once you are familiar with it Show manuals. Example video? Not just advanced iMovie

16 Target Population College undergraduates attending Yale University
No prior experience with FCP, but some with graphics programs Workshops at the Yale Digital Media Center for the Arts (DMCA) Many art students (especially those in the fields of Sculpture and Photography) have a need to learn Final Cut Pro to: Record and showcase other art projects Create a video project as a direct expression of art

17 Instructional Tasks Encode digital video from a video deck to a Mac workstation Edit the video: Add titles Video transitions Music Video effects Export the video to a QuickTime file that can be burned to a DVD.

18 Applying Theory to Instruction
Norman’s 7 User Centered Design principles applied to FCP instruction.

19 Use both knowledge in the world and knowledge in the head.
“Knowledge in the World” refers to information that exists in the world that we don’t need to memorize to utilize. Don’t need to be able to recall every distinctive feature of a penny to be able to identify one and use it. Loose keyboard letters to professional typists. They were not able to arrange them in the proper configuration. Scaffolding from the world “Knowledge in the Head” refers to memorization Info-processing theory STM / LTM / Attention (all limited) Phone tech support with no visual Utilize what KITH they do have – analogies, Photoshop layers After workshop, info usually gone. Provide portable “Knowledge in the World” Custom Handouts (screen shots, digital photos) Keyboard shortcuts at top Focus on project, not notes. KITW is like scaffolding – can do a lot if there is information around you that you can work with.

20 Simplify the structure of tasks.
Make tasks simple in structure Minimize problem solving or planning required to execute tasks. Pay close attention to the psychology and limits of the end-user Short-term memory Long-term memory Attention Applied to FCP workshops Set specific project for all to work on Limit scope of workshop Make it entertaining and relevant to students (Attention) Limit scope – if really off-topic, talk about individually or after class. Contrasts with constructivism

21 Make things visible: bridge the gulfs of Execution and Evaluation.
Things should be visible so that people know what is possible and how to do them. People should know what is currently going on and what to do next. FCP shortcomings Encoding video – How find? Name? Transcoding audio Help – need to know what you don’t know To overcome: Provide overall flow needed to accomplish end goal Provide specific steps on how to do something Class follows flow so that students know what is currently going on (with instruction) and what is next. Show FCP and how to get to log and capture. No indication of transcoding audio. Won’t play. Don’t just start giving directions (click her, now click here) – need to know what current goal is.

22 Get the mappings right. make sure that the user can determine the relationships: Between intentions and possible actions Between actions and their effects on the system Between actual system state and what is perceivable by sight, sound, or feel Between the perceived system state and the needs, intentions, and expectations of the user. FCP problems: Hidden commands Error messages Unrendered effects Media Limit on V1 To overcome: Point out common problems in instruction and handouts Point students to online webboards – many times having problem and cause is program – think you’ve tried everything, and it turns out to be a small setting or slight variation in a process. Need reminder (handout or web board).

23 Exploit the power of constraints, both natural and artificial.
“Use constraints so that the user feels as if there is only one possible thing to do – the right thing of course” - Don Norman Lego motorcycle policeman FCP problems Thousands of actions possible No work flow guidance To overcome: Create constraints Create guidelines What students have in their mind that they want to do is pretty simple – create constraints based on that goal.

24 Design for error “Assume that any error that can be made will be made. Plan for it. Think of each action by the user as an attempt to step in the right direction; an error is simply an action that is incompletely or improperly specified” – Don Norman Error Messages Do not help determine what went wrong Do not help to fix problem Do not help avoid in the future FCP Example: Linking of Audio and Video Very common No error message Audio/Video out of sync To overcome: Assume it will happen Warn of danger Show how to fix if it happens When covering CD audio – reiterate Error when reading handouts carefully word certain things – location of buttons, show pictures with arrows catch errors with iterative design trials Show in FCP linking.

25 When all else fails, standardize
Standardization is a way to deal with things that cannot be designed without arbitrary mappings. Keyboard layouts Traffic signals Units of measurement Useful as long as everyone uses the same system FCP Problem: Setting paths for FCP files To overcome: Pick a standard – desktop “My FCP Project” Across students and time – same file location Related: Set all Macs to same file system view There is little or no compelling reason to have them designed in one way versus another (i.e. why can’t traffic lights be blue, clocks spin counter-clockwise, or a foot be 13 inches?), All macs with same view – could be any of the 3 views, but need to all be seeing same thing

26 Assessment Content knowledge vs. user experience Observe behaviors:
Do people stare blankly at handouts? Complete sample project? Able to work on their own after workshops? Feedback forms Iterative design – use feedback to improve future instruction. They are not expected to become experts in Final Cut Pro with two workshops, but if the instruction can give them a solid foundation of the basics and instill in them the confidence that they can eventually master the program, that would be considered a success.

27 Critics Don Norman’s newer book, “Emotional Design”, reflects on his own overly reductive approach in POET, when more than just utility needs to be considered. Example: Standard vs. Automatic transmission Constructivists: Complexity vs. Simplifying the structure of tasks Encouraging problem solving vs. Reducing it Can’t have Jasper Woodbury in every situation Edward Tufte Program should be transparent and allow work to happen with minimal interference While I think that the learning that takes place with programs such as Jasper Woodbury is fantastic, it is also not realistic to put 13 students in a room with Final Cut Pro installed on the computers and tell them to “have at it”, then try to guide them along by not directly answering questions so that they can discover things for themselves. Little would get accomplished in the allotted 4 hours, and I imagine frustration levels with Final Cut Pro would be exceedingly high (as would the attrition rate for workshops attendance).

28 Edward Tufte Not a critic of Norman per se, but opposite end of design spectrum. OK for graphic design, bad for program design or web design.

29 My own thoughts All had frustrating experiences with bad design, especially with technology Audio/Video systems Websites – is that a button? Authoring programs Tech support Error messages UCD offers solid guidelines for good design Feedback forms about handouts

30 For more information: Questions?

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