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Human-Computer Interaction: 409229

Rohan Chandrasekar Student ID: 1095906

Human-Computer Interaction Critical Report Evaluation of a Samsung ES28 Digital Camera

Prepared By:Rohan Chandrasekar Student ID: 1095906 Date: 20/04/2011

In the following sections we talk about the scope of the evaluation. it has limited functionality. browse exiting pictures. Hence we will try and evaluate all possible features of this camera. 1998) HCI is defined by Carroll (2000) as ³The study and practice of usability. Scope In this section we define the scope for the evaluation of the Samsung ES28 with respect to the principles of HCI. Application of this research facilitates developers to create usage centred interfaces that optimize the control of a machine/computer system by a human. Since this is a mid (or even low) end range camera.(Dix et al. Introduction In the recent years analog cameras have completely been replaced by digital ones.´ . This includes using the camera to take pictures. Users who have switched from analog cameras to digital ones expect the digital counterparts to function as much as possible like the old analog ones. Hence digital camera manufacturers try and map all the features and usage of traditional cameras into these digital devices. will be able to use and will find effective when used.Human-Computer Interaction: 409229 Rohan Chandrasekar Student ID: 1095906 1. 3. 2. In this report we evaluate a Samsung ES28 Digital camera on the basis of theories of HumanComputer interaction. We first understand the principles of HCI that are relevant to this use and then evaluate the device on the basis of those principles. Relevant Theories 3. We will also evaluate its design in terms of its controls and its interface. low powered digital sensors have enabled the mass production of digital cameras at a cost affordable to consumers. then try and understand theories in HCI that relate to the usage of this device. The development of low cost.1 The Concept of Human-Computer Interaction Human Computer Interaction is a technical science which analyses and researches the interaction of humans and computers through mutual understanding. and navigate into the setting menu to turn various features on and off. We later try and apply these theories to our device and critique the design of the device based on the theories. It is about understanding and creating software and other technology that people will want to use.

decision making. planning. memory etc. Cognition is defined as the process of thought in the brain. Attention is to select one of the possible availabilities and concentrate on it. reasoning. 3. Needs of users are considered most important in the system design process. It allows us to focus on something that is relevant to what we are doing. and listening problem solving.1 Attention: Attention is focusing on things to concentrate on at a given point of time.1 Cognition Cognition is an important human factor and covers several other important factors like perception. 3.Human-Computer Interaction: 409229 Rohan Chandrasekar Student ID: 1095906 3.2 Human factors in HCI. Hence arises a need to continually address factors relevant to users (humans) during the design and development of interactive computer and computing devices. y Information presentation: The manner in which information is presented to the user can also greatly affect the easy or difficulty to attend to appropriate sections of information. under it. y Goals: If a user is aware of his goals or needs.2. speaking.2. In the recent past. he can easily try and match his need with the information that is currently available to him. Cognition can also be defined on the basis of specific processes like: (Helen Sharp. In other words it is the process that goes on in our head when we are carrying out our daily activities. 2007) We will only be describing relevant topics in detail: y y y y y y attention perception and recognition memory learning reading. newer problems have to be continuously encountered. If not.1999).1. the extent to which the process of attention is easy or difficult is dependent on the clarity of our goals and whether the information we need is salient in our environment. From our sensory inputs (auditory/visual) our brain has a variety of things available to focus on. human factors in HCI have been recognized as a crucial part in the design process of an interaction device. the users¶ attention is distracted to other items and his attention may go astray. With the continuous inflow of new products and technology. (Cooper. According to Helen Sharp et al (2007). .

For example. For example. Vision is considered the most important sense which is followed by other senses like hearing and touching. A mixture of different media can also be used to enable users to identify the composite information clearly and in the intended manner.2.1.2. and transforming the information into experiences of events. With respect to interactive devices.Human-Computer Interaction: 409229 Rohan Chandrasekar Student ID: 1095906 3. Memory involves recalling these pieces of information stored in our brain to react appropriately in a given situation. Another theory related to memory is that humans are much better at recognizing things as compared to recalling them.3 Memory: Our brain stores huge amounts of information which is gathered through experience. fingers. determines our ability to recall that piece of information at a later stage. The extent to which the above process takes places. the most important thing is to design the icons so that they are clearly distinguishable from each other and also clearly represent the intended purpose or use. objects. How does this process of recalling work? Information is encoded into the brain depending on what we pay attention to and how well it is interpreted. A mix of visual and sound information could be used to make the user aware of the state of the system. (Helen Sharp. ears etc. With respect to audible information provided by the system. Perception can be defined as the process of acquiring information from the surroundings (environment) with the help of our sensory organs like eyes. People find recognizing images much easier than text. tastes and sound. An example to this theory could be the design of icons. it is crucial to have information presented in the right way and which can be perceived in the intended way. it is important that the sound is audible and distinguishable so that the users are clearly able to perceive the meaning. It is generally difficult for people to recall information that encoded in a different context than the context he is currently in. 3.2 Perception and Recognition: According to Roth (1986). 2007) Context also plays an important role in determining how well we are able to recall a piece of information from our brain. With respect to the design of icons. . Certain types of information are easier to recognize than others.1. It is a complex process and involves other cognitive processes like memory and attention.

Human-Computer Interaction: 409229 Rohan Chandrasekar Student ID: 1095906 3. In other words.1 Affordance: Affordance is a property of an object that lets people know how they are going to use it. . 1988).3. Virtual objects like screen based interfaces are better classified as perceived affordances which are essentially learned conventions. is easier to understand to use. User interfaces should provide for such exploratory learning through interaction and importantly allowing users to undo their actions. to afford means ³to give a clue´ (Norman. According to Carroll (1990) Users generally don¶t like learning from books or manuals.. Using a computer/device to learn new things. They prefer ³learning through doing´.3 Norman¶s Principle of design With respect to Human-Computer Interaction Donald Norman has introduced a number of factors/principles that successfully capture the most important aspects of HCI design.1.2. 3. A physical object who¶s affordances are perceptually obvious. Norman (1999) also talks about real and perceived affordances. Real affordance related to real world objects whose affordance are perceptually obvious.4 Learning: Learning in computer based systems can be of two types: i) ii) Learning to use a system/interaction device. These include: y y y y y y Affordance Visibility Feedback Mapping Consistency Constraints 3. Norman also argues that his principles of design are far more useful in developing screen based interfaces with virtual affordance.

4 Mapping: In the field of Human-Computer Interaction mapping specifies the correlation between a system control and its affordance.3.3. Constraints are key to good interfaces since they implant the knowledge of the designer within the structure. It is very important to provide the right amount of emphasis to each feature. 3.3. it is important to provide a clear mapping of the system controls (virtual/real). This allows the user to take control of the system if he feels that it is not performing the intended task. Ideally mapping should take advantage of physical analogies so that they may be intuitively understandable without prior training. It is perceived that a feature with better visibility is of greater emphasis than a feature with low visibility.Human-Computer Interaction: 409229 Rohan Chandrasekar Student ID: 1095906 3.5 Consistency Consistency refers to having interfaces in which similar elements (controls) are used to perform similar tasks. 3. . Consistent design makes the system easier to understand and lessens the load on the users¶ memory to remember how to perform similar tasks in the system.6 Constraints A system designer can direct a user to make correct choices by limiting the ability of the user to make changes in the system.3.2 Visibility: Visibility is the amount of emphasis a feature is given. Since virtual objects have perceived affordances. Actions which the designer categorizes as dangerous are constrained so that the user cannot access them mistakenly.3. 3. It is very crucial that the user is made aware of the system state at every given point of time so that the user can anticipate what the system is going to do next. Alternatively providing a feature with too low priority can cause it to get missed and may cause an error. 3.3 Feedback: The process by which a system communicates with the user and makes him aware of the state of the system is known as feedback. Having many high priority features can confuse the user and can cause desensitization.

1 Visibility: It is important to give primary system controls and important system messages higher visibility so that the user focuses on the critical parts of the device and does not get distracted by items of secondary importance. 1. 2. For example the power button on the top of the camera is clearly visible with a label so that user does not have to look around to find it. Analysis In this section we analyze our device based on the theories discusses in the above section. The clicking finger automatically positions on top the capture button when the camera is held. A large LCD display on the back side of the camera powers on as soon as the camera is turned on. . 4.Human-Computer Interaction: 409229 Rohan Chandrasekar Student ID: 1095906 4. The Samsung ES28 has many such highly visible functions. Also the Capture button on the top is big and made obvious. 3. With the absence of a traditional viewfinder it clearly displays the image that the lens has focused on. We try to evaluate our device on the basis of the design principles of Norman and also try to apply theory related to cognition to these principles.

The camera has tried to make affordance of each button clear by placing an icon on it or clearing labeling the button about its purpose. . The LCD panel of the Samsung ES28 provides the user with a wealth of information. This makes the user aware of the mode/settings in which the picture is going to be taken. 4.2 Affordance: Affordance can real or perceived.Human-Computer Interaction: 409229 Rohan Chandrasekar Student ID: 1095906 4. information about the state of the system. 1. This reduces the need for the user to check the status of the features by navigating into the menu. 1. It is crucial that the user understands the affordance of each of the control items. Almost all of the features are annunciated by icons on the display panel.3 Feedback: It is important to keep the user aware of the device status. this can be done by providing the user. In most digital interaction devices affordances are virtual and perceived.

4. the camera forces the user to contemplate his decision by reconfirming if he wishes to perform the task. . or if he is holding the camera in an angle in which he cannot see the display properly. When a picture is clicked with the flash ON. 3. 4. and the amount of zoom left that camera can provide. 1. This is a useful feature if the user is in a hurry. When the user attempts to format the memory.Human-Computer Interaction: 409229 Rohan Chandrasekar Student ID: 1095906 2. When the user uses the zoom function on the camera. a click sound is generated (A sound that emulates the click noise from analog cameras) to indicate to the user that the picture has been taken. This state is made clear to the user with a red flash icon flashing on the screen. the user is not allowed to take another picture till the flash capacitor charges back. 5. The camera also has a face detection technology which indicates faces on the display with a green box. a zoom level indicator indicates the level of zoom that the user is at.4 Constraints: It is important that the system has constraints so that the user does not mistakenly attempt a potentially dangerous action. When the user clicks a picture.

. Almost all brands of digital cameras available in the market these days have same positioning of buttons and display. 4. 4.Human-Computer Interaction: 409229 Rohan Chandrasekar Student ID: 1095906 2. The user interface of the Samsung ES28 has the same menu paradigm from menu to menu. the navigational button mapping are provide on the bottom of the menu. Samsung has also tried to keep several trivial items like power button. When the user enters the settings menu in the camera. In fact this menu scheme is across almost all Samsung cameras. 2.5 Consistency: 1. This allows the user of one device to transition to another model with less training and reduced cognitive overhead. To remove the battery the user need to unlock the click lock and then pull the lid off. zoom button consistent with other brands. The battery section has a click lock that does not allow the user to unlock it mistakenly.6 Mapping: 1. This is good because of the reduced number of buttons and ambiguity in the users mind about which button to use. click button.

Overall it has a simple and easy to use menu and enables the user to quickly learn how various functions operate. This helps if a user transitions from one model to the other of the same brand. . The dial does not have arrows indicating that it can be used as navigational key. It is a multipurpose dial which provides navigation in the form of arrow buttons. nor is there any onscreen mapping telling the user which key to use. 2. Several areas in the menu have not been provided with a mapping at all. Unless a user is familiar with the various features and terminologies of digital photography. Also some of the icons on the LCD panel indicating whether a feature is on/off. Buttons/Controls: The buttons in the Samsung ES28 are fairly appropriately placed and are easily visible. With respect to the round dial button. 3. When the user enters the setting menu. there is an issue with the mapping of buttons and navigation in the menu. these buttons act as navigational keys. but this usage is not obvious. The user would not perceive this usage if he is operating the device for the first time. these icons are pretty difficult to interpret. Most buttons provide good feedback in the form of an audible sound. and is also used for enabling/disabling features. Menu (Usage and Navigation) Samsung has maintained a standard menu in almost all of its digital cameras. Good feedback in the form of icons getting turned on and off and audible sound feedback is provided when features are turned on and off. Icons: The icons used by Samsung in this model are mostly self descriptive. Design critique In this section we look at the design of the Samsung ES28 in general and comment on its usability. 1. nor does the menu provide a clear mapping on what each button does. there does exist some ambiguity about its usage.Human-Computer Interaction: 409229 Rohan Chandrasekar Student ID: 1095906 2. 5. For eg. In some scenarios no mapping is provided on the screen as to which button navigates to which place. The multipurpose dial does not have any arrows to guide in navigational direction. But. are confusing. Although some icons are really small on the buttons and it becomes difficult to comprehend its actual meaning. The menu is quite comprehensive and provides an array of functions. Most of them are identified by an icon or a label and its affordance is fairly obvious.

M. A. Cooper. IN: SAMS Carroll. Beale. Human-Computer Interaction. It evaluates the usability of the design of the camera from the perspective of a novice user. 1990. I. 13(1). E. Indianapolis. These include i) using of clearer and bigger icons which would easily enable the user to perceive its meaning ii) better mapping of keys: instead of using a dual purpose dial. (1990) The Nurnberg Funnel. Roth. the device is still well designed in its current form and provides an enriching experience to a beginner/intermediate user. (2000) Introduction to the special issue on "Scenario-Based Systems Development. iii) Use of color to indicate important buttons for e. (2007). (1986) An introduction to object perception. A. In I. Addison-Wesley." Interacting with Computers. Although the behavior of the device can be optimized by including the above recommendations. so that its affordance becomes obvious to the user.R. Norman. G. Bibliography Jenny Preece. J. Even the advanced settings section is almost perfectly usable except for a few issues with key mappings.B. (1999). Y. 1994 Helen Sharp. A common user would typically use the default settings to click and store pictures. MA: MIT Press. Frisby (eds. there weren¶t any major issues with the design of the camera. D. D. Considering the camera is from a mid/low end segment with minimal features. J. Carroll. 75). Abowd. Human-Computer Interaction. so that the user does not accidentally delete photographs. J. Y. R. certain improvements to the design can be accommodated. The Design of Everyday Things. The inmates are running the asylum. Finlay. Making the delete button red. J. Conclusion & Discussion This paper highlights the key aspects of the design of the Samsung ES28 digital camera on the basis of relevant HCI principles.g.   . separate buttons could be used . Prentice Hall.) Perception and Representation: A Cognitive Approach. and R. Doubleday. In Interaction Design: Beyond HumanComputer Interaction (p. Milton Keynes: Open University. Cambridge. M. second edition. From our analysis in the above sections we can conclude that most of the issues discussed in the sections above are parts of lesser accessed portions of the interface. Understanding users. 1998. Wiley. Although the device was fairly usable. .Human-Computer Interaction: 409229 Rohan Chandrasekar Student ID: 1095906 7. Roth and J. Dix. 41-42. A. (1994).