Presentation on theme: "SM2222 Information Design and Visualization Product Instruction Design 21 October 2005."— Presentation transcript:
SM2222 Information Design and Visualization Product Instruction Design 21 October 2005
Instructions remain a problem Confusion and clutter are failures of design not attributes of information Failure to understand instructions can have serious consequences (Misuse of medicines and machines) Differences in domain knowledge and problem-solving skills influence how user interpret the instructions (Airline safety instructions – pictorial instruction)
Beyond language improvements Combining words and icons can be better than either alone Words are more successful than symbols on the case of bank-teller machines TV programme code numbers relief the difficulties of setting videotape recorders Ring-pull on the base of can encourages people to turn the can over to open it (No instruction is needed) Visual and word clarity will not guarantee successful communication if the concepts in the minds of readers and designers differ
“The design of instructions can change the way people read them. Differences between instructions appeared to affect not just the speed and accuracy with which they were used but the way in which they were used as well… the style of presentation of the instructions determined the strategy people adopted for using them and hence the kind of information sought from the detail of the diagrams” Szlichcinski, 1984
Readers’ information needs Product-oriented vs. user-oriented design Strange technical jargon/ mismatch terminology (“lock”) User testing Participative design (user directly involve in design activities/process) Questionnaires /focus groups “Invent-test-revise” cycle
The way people read instructions Searching for relevant information Understanding and remembering what was read Applying the knowledge gained from reading
How people locate instructions People adopt the principle of ‘least reading effort’ (form- filling) Any factors distract readers should be minimized Designers need to start with the questions that are upper-most in readers’ mind 4 steps: what to look for, how to search for, carry out the search activity, locate information Legibility and attention relate to the context of use (Warning sign, Out of order)
How people understand instructions 20 % more from affirmative instructions (Remove shoes vs. Do not keep shoes on) Understanding often depends on expectations (Obtaining a drink from a vending machine) Mental structure – Schema; Familiar devices people may already have established schemas Giving the reader a description of the task goal at the beginning (coat hanger)
This will be a picture of a coat hanger. Draw a wide triangle and put a C on top. VS. Draw a wide triangle and put a C on top and put a C on top. This will be a picture of a coat hanger.
How people carry out instructions Creating action plans, which are hierarchies of goals, each being expanded by readers into a series of steps to attain the goal The greater the similarity between the action plan and any mental model already formed, the easier readers will find it to follow instructions Combining text and illustration can help people follow a sequence of instructions but much depends on the illustrations A gulf of execution and evaluation
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