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Introduction to UCD
Some Everyday Design Examples
Designs that Hinder Users Designs that Help Users

Why Poor Design Happens What is User-Centered Design?


It takes mental energy to select the right control for the desired burner--and it’s easy to make a mistake. Example drawn from The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman Designs that Hinder Users Palm Beach County Ballot – Another Example of Poor Mapping Many voters associated the second block of candidates and the second hole in the ballot--erroneously voting for the Reform Party. 2 .The Case of the Missing Shower Control How do you turn on the shower? Few who visit us figure this out. Designs that Hinder Users My Bathtub .10/8/2013 Designs that Hinder Users My Stove--A Classic Example The burners are arranged in a square. The controls are arranged in a straight line.

good design involves simple changes Clear mapping between the item and its control. Highly visible shower control. Designs that Help Users Dade County Ballot Clear mapping between candidates and punch hole.10/8/2013 Designs that Help Users Often. Why does poor design happen? No designer purposely sets out to confuse or irritate users Two factors contribute: Visual aesthetics trump function Reliance on interior thinking about a problem 3 .

it will make sense to everyone else…” “This doesn’t make sense to me so it won’t make sense to anyone else…” 4 .10/8/2013 Aesthetics Trump Function My Bathtub Faucet I suspect the designer here was going for a “clean” look to the controls But. Reliance on Interior Thinking A common fallacy: the most usable solution is OBVIOUS by interior thinking about the problem “If it makes sense to me. the control is difficult to discover and hard to grasp with the water running Aesthetics and Function It’s often more work but it is possible to create products that are both aesthetically pleasing and easy to use.

10/8/2013 Reliance on Interior Thinking Reference Information for Java Wow…how do I navigation this web site? But… the target audience loved this approach The organization was highly meaningful and powerful It reflects how users think about the information Packages Classes The Lesson Relying solely on interior thinking is a risky approach to design It risks making incorrect assumptions about the people who will use a system 5 .

and The environment (physical. social) Pay attention to these throughout development ISO on User-centered Design ISO 13407 describes human-centered design processes for interactive systems Principles of human-centered design: Active involvement of users Appropriate allocation of function between user and system Iteration of design solutions Multidisciplinary design teams 6 .10/8/2013 Minimizing Design Risks The Goal of UCD The goal of UCD is to create products that are useful and usable for the intended audience It is both a philosophy and a process What is User-Centered Design? An approach to UI development and system development. Focuses on understanding: Users. organizational. and Their goals and tasks.

fix them and carry out more tests Four basic activities There are four basic activities in Interaction Design: 1.10/8/2013 ISO on User-centered Design (2) Essential activities in human-centered design: Understand and specify the context of use Specify the user and organizational requirements Produce design solutions (prototypes) Evaluate designs with users against requirements What is a user-centered approach? User-centered approach is based on: Early focus on users and tasks: directly studying cognitive. anthropomorphic & attitudinal characteristics Empirical measurement: users’ reactions and performance to scenarios. manuals. simulations & prototypes are observed. 3. behavioural. 2. 4. recorded and analysed Iterative design: when problems are found in user testing. Identifying needs and establishing requirements Developing alternative designs Building interactive versions of the designs Evaluating designs 7 .

10/8/2013 A simple interaction design model Exemplifies a user-centered design approach Some practical issues Who are the users? What are ‘needs’? Target users 8 .

sight. but greater strength to change batteries disabilities (e.g. 1987): primary: frequent hands-on secondary: occasional or via someone else tertiary: affected by its introduction. dexterity) Users’ needs 9 .a child’s toy requires little strength to operate.10/8/2013 Who are the users/stakeholders? Not as obvious as you think: those who interact directly with the product those who manage direct users those who receive output from the product those who make the purchasing decision those who use competitor’s products Three categories of user (Eason. hearing. or will influence its purchase What are the users’ capabilities? Humans vary in many dimensions: size of hands may affect the size and positioning of input buttons motor abilities may affect the suitability of certain input and output device height if designing a physical kiosk strength .

10/8/2013 What are ‘needs’? Users rarely know what is possible Users can’t tell you what they ‘need’ to help them achieve their goals Instead. look at existing tasks: their context what information do they require? who collaborates to achieve the task? why is the task achieved the way it is? Envisioned tasks: can be rooted in existing behaviour can be described as future scenarios Brief overview of method to gather user data Data recording Interviews Questionnaires Observation Choosing and combining techniques Four key issues Setting goals Decide how to analyze data once collected Relationship with participants Clear and professional Informed consent when appropriate Triangulation Use more than one approach Pilot studies Small trial of main study 10 .

split them into two Jargon and language that the interviewee may not understand Leading questions that make assumptions e.g. Structured . gender stereotypes 11 .. Interview questions Two types: ‘closed questions’ have a predetermined answer format.g. Replicable but may lack richness. ‘yes’ or ‘no’ ‘open questions’ do not have a predetermined format Closed questions are easier to analyze Avoid: Long questions Compound sentences .are tightly scripted.. Semi-structured .are not directed by a script.guided by a script but interesting issues can be explored in more depth. Can provide a good balance between richness and replicability. often like a questionnaire. Rich but not replicable.10/8/2013 Data recording Notes. why do you like …? Unconscious biases e. video. e. photographs Notes plus photographs Audio plus photographs Video Interviews Unstructured .g. audio..

g. designer is apprentice A form of interview. email and the web used for dissemination Sampling can be a problem when the size of a population is unknown as is common online 12 . e. a prototype. and may be done by computer Can be administered to large populations Paper.10/8/2013 Enriching the interview process Props devices for prompting interviewee.. scenario Contextual Inquiry An approach to ethnographic study where user is expert. but at users’ workplace (workstation) 2 to 3 hours long Four main principles: Context: see workplace & what happens Partnership: user and developer collaborate Interpretation: observations interpreted by user and developer together Focus: project focus to understand what to look for Questionnaires Questions can be closed or open Closed questions are easier to analyze.

Do you need different versions of the questionnaire for different populations? Provide clear instructions on how to complete the questionnaire. all negative or mixed. Strike a balance between using white space and keeping the questionnaire compact. Advantages of online questionnaires Responses are usually received quickly No copying and postage costs Data can be collected in database for analysis Time required for data analysis is reduced Errors can be corrected easily Problems with online questionnaires Sampling is problematic if population size is unknown Preventing individuals from responding more than once Individuals have also been known to change questions in email questionnaires 13 . Decide on whether phrases will all be positive.10/8/2013 Questionnaires design The impact of a question can be influenced by question order.

How is the activity organized? Direct observation in a controlled setting Think-aloud technique consist of observing a user working with an interface while encouraging them to "think-aloud". focus on the problems a user has.What is happening? .10/8/2013 Observation Direct observation in the field Structuring frameworks Degree of participation (insider or outsider) Ethnography Direct observation in controlled environments Indirect observation: tracking users’ activities Diaries Interaction logging Structuring frameworks to guide observation . Who? . What? The Goetz and LeCompte (1984) framework: .The person. Where? .Where is it happening? .Why is it happening? .When does the activity occur? . to say what they are thinking and wondering at each moment.The place.Who is present? .What is their role? . when the user is working without difficulty. direct observation 14 .The thing.

semi-structured or unstructured Questionnaires may be on paper. nature of technique and available resources 15 .10/8/2013 Indirect observation Diaries Interaction logs Choosing and combining techniques Depends on The focus of the study The participants involved The nature of the technique The resources available Summary Three main data gathering methods: interviews. online or telephone Observation may be direct or indirect. triangulation. questionnaires. observation Four key issues of data gathering: goals. pilot Interviews may be structured. participants. participant relationship. in the field or in controlled setting Techniques can be combined depending on study focus.