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Annoy Your Users Less Session 202 Philip Wolfe, Lead Developer Farm Credit Services of America.

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Presentation on theme: "Annoy Your Users Less Session 202 Philip Wolfe, Lead Developer Farm Credit Services of America."— Presentation transcript:

1 Annoy Your Users Less Session 202 Philip Wolfe, Lead Developer Farm Credit Services of America

2 What are we talking about? Human Factors of User Interface Design Human Computer Interaction (HCI) HCI is the study of interaction between people and computers. (wikipedia) To the user, the user interface IS the system

3 Creighton University ITM 734 – Human Factors in Information Systems

4 The Design of Everyday Things Donald Norman (1988)

5 The Humane Interface Jef Raskin (2000)

6 We are concerned with Fit FIT TASK HUMAN COMPUTER Optimize Fit and you optimize performance

7 Gestalt Psychology Law of Prägnanz - we tend to order our experience in a manner that is regular, orderly, symmetric, and simple. Reproductive thinking is solving a problem with previous experiences and what is already known Your users are trying to make order out of the application that they are using This may be based on a previously used application

8 Law of Closure The mind may experience elements it does not perceive through sensation, in order to complete a regular figure (that is, to increase regularity).

9 Law of Similarity The mind groups similar elements into collective entities or totalities. This similarity might depend on relationships of form, color, size, or brightness.

10 Law of Proximity Spatial or temporal proximity of elements may induce the mind to perceive a collective or totality.

11 Law of Symmetry Symmetrical images are perceived collectively, even in spite of distance. [ ] [ ] [ ]

12 Law of Continuity The mind continues visual, auditory, and kinetic patterns. A B C D

13 Law of Common Fate Elements with the same moving direction are perceived as a collective or unit.

14 Different Types of Users Occasional Users Everyday Users Expert Users Design the interface for each type

15 Recognition vs. Recall What is the difference between these two?

16 What is this an example of?


18 Reduce the cognitive load Use Models Use Consistency Use the computer's “memory” as much as possible Don't disrupt the user with error/warning/information dialogs. They may forget what they were doing.

19 Donald Norman's Principals Cognitive Model Visibility Feedback Constraints Affordance Mapping

20 Cognitive Model A Mental Model An idea of how something works Physical to more abstract Structure the interface in a deliberate manner Think of how does the user perceive solving this task

21 Visibility Make all needed options visible Don't distract the user with extra information Don't overwhelm the user with alternatives

22 Feedback Communicate to the user about the state of their action Use more than one method Don't use jargon


24 Constraints Limit what the user can perform in certain situations



27 Affordance A quality of an object that allows a user to perform an action Involves the user's goals, plans, values, beliefs, and past experiences Objects should project how to use them



30 Mapping The user has an idea of how the interface is to be used (their mental model) The object has a conceptional model of how it should be used (the designer's mental model) When the two meet there is a close mapping. The designer needs to think in a user-centered way



33 Jef Raskin's Principles Monotony of Design – There should be one way of accomplishing a task in a system Undo – Give users the ability to undo their actions. Universal use of text – Icon only buttons are cryptic and can be experience / culture specific.

34 Raskin's Principles cont. Elimination of warning messages – Users ignore these! Provide a way to undo their action.

35 Additional Principals Tolerance – reduce the cost of mistakes by allowing “undo” or expecting varied inputs Consistency – Users have knowledge of other systems (mental models) Simplicity – Make common tasks easy, communicate clearly, break down complex tasks Finalization – Users want to know that their actions were successful or complete

36 Consistency What else does this violate?

37 Finalization

38 The Uncanny Valley The more a robot appears to be (look/act) human, the more we notice how it is not human

39 The Uncanny Valley of Web UI Is there an uncanny valley for web Uis? The more a web application tries to emulate a desktop application, the more we focus on the missing pieces.

40 Summary Design from the user's perspective Conduct usability studies Remember Norman's Principles Your users are trying to map your system from something they know Your users are trying to organize your system into something they can remember

41 References Bill Higgins ( ) Wikipedia The Design of Everyday Things

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