User Experience Re-Mastered Your Guide to Getting the Right Design- P1

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User Experience Re-Mastered Your Guide to Getting the Right Design- P1: Good user interface design isn't just about aesthetics or using the latest technology. Designers also need to ensure their product is offering an optimal user experience. This requires user needs analysis, usability testing, persona creation, prototyping, design sketching, and evaluation through-out the design and development process.

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  2. User Experience Re-Mastered Please purchase PDF Split-Merge on www.verypdf.com to remove this watermark.
  3. The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Interactive Technologies Series Editors: Stuart Card, PARC; Jonathan Grudin, Microsoft; Jakob Nielsen, Nielsen Norman Group Mobile Technology for Children: Designing for Interaction and Cost-Justifying Usability Learning Edited by Randolph Bias and Deborah Mayhew Edited by Allison Druin User Interface Design and Evaluation Effective Prototyping with Excel Debbie Stone, Caroline Jarrett, Mark Woodroffe, and Shailey Nevin Berger, Michael Arent, Jonathan Arnowitz, and Fred Minocha Sampson Rapid Contextual Design Web Application Design Patterns Karen Holtzblatt, Jessamyn Burns Wendell, and Shelley Pawan Vora Wood Evaluating Children’s Interactive Products: Principles and Voice Interaction Design: Crafting the New Conversational Practices for Interaction Designers Speech Systems Panos Markopoulos, Janet Read, Stuart MacFarlane, and Randy Allen Harris Johanna Hoysniemi Understanding Users: A Practical Guide to User Requirements: HCI Beyond the GUI: Design for Haptic, Speech, Olfactory and Methods, Tools, and Techniques Other Nontraditional Interfaces Catherine Courage and Kathy Baxter Edited by Phi Kortum The Web Application Design Handbook: Best Practices for Measuring the User Experience: Collecting, Analyzing, and Web-Based Software Presenting Usability Metrics Susan Fowler and Victor Stanwick Tom Tullis and Bill Albert The Mobile Connection: The Cell Phone’s Impact on Society Moderating Usability Tests: Principles and Practices for Richard Ling Interacting Information Visualization: Perception for Design, 2nd Edition Joseph Dumas and Beth Loring Colin Ware Keeping Found Things Found: The Study and Practice of Personal Interaction Design for Complex Problem Solving: Developing Information Management Useful and Usable Software William Jones Barbara Mirel GUI Bloopers 2.0: Common User Interface Design Don’ts and Dos The Craft of Information Visualization: Readings and Reflections Jeff Johnson Written and edited by Ben Bederson and Ben Shneiderman Visual Thinking for Design HCI Models, Theories, and Frameworks: Towards a Colin Ware Multidisciplinary Science User-Centered Design Stories: Real-World UCD Case Studies Edited by John M. Carroll Carol Righi and Janice James Web Bloopers: 60 Common Web Design Mistakes, and How to Sketching User Experiences: Getting the Design Right and the Avoid Them Right Design Jeff Johnson Bill Buxton Observing the User Experience: A Practitioner’s Guide to User Text Entry Systems: Mobility, Accessibility, Universality Research Scott MacKenzie and Kumiko Tanaka-ishi Mike Kuniavsky Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content that Works Paper Prototyping: The Fast and Easy Way to Design and Refine Janice “Ginny” Redish User Interfaces Carolyn Snyder Personas and User Archetypes: A Field Guide for Interaction Designers Jonathan Pruitt and Tamara Adlin Please purchase PDF Split-Merge on www.verypdf.com to remove this watermark.
  4. User Experience Re-Mastered Your Guide to Getting the Right Design Edited by Chauncey Wilson AMSTERDAM • BOSTON • HEIDELBERG • LONDON NEW YORK • OXFORD • PARIS • SAN DIEGO SAN FRANCISCO • SINGAPORE • SYDNEY • TOKYO Morgan Kaufmann Publishers is an imprint of Elsevier Please purchase PDF Split-Merge on www.verypdf.com to remove this watermark.
  5. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers is an imprint of Elsevier. 30 Corporate Drive, Suite 400, Burlington, MA 01803, USA This book is printed on acid-free paper. © 2010 by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Chapter 1 was originally published in Usability Engineering, by Jakob Nielsen (Elsevier Inc. 1993). Chapter 2 was originally published in Usability for the Web: Designing Web Sites that Work, by Tom Brinck (Elsevier Inc. 2002). Chapter 3 was originally published in Understanding Your Users: A Practical Guide to User Requirements Methods, Tools, and Techniques, by Catherine Courage and Kathy Baxter (Elsevier Inc. 2005). Chapter 5 was originally published in Sketching User Experience: Getting the Design Right and the Right Design, by Bill Buxton (Elsevier Inc. 2007). Chapter 6 was originally published in The Persona Lifecycle: Keeping People in Mind Throughout Product Design, by John Pruitt and Tamara Adlin (Elsevier Inc. 2006). Chapter 7 was originally published in Effective Prototyping for Software Makers, by Jonathan Arnowitz, Michael Arent, and Nevin Berger (Elsevier Inc. 2006). Chapters 8, 9, 11, 12 were originally published in User Interface Design and Evaluation, by Debbie Stone, Caroline Jarrett, Mark Woodroffe, and Shailey Minocha. Copyright © The Open University 2005. Chapter 10 was originally published in Observing the User Experience, by Mike Kuniavsky (Elsevier Inc. 2003). No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Details on how to seek permis- sion, further information about the Publisher’s permissions policies and our arrangements with organizations such as the Copyright Clearance Center and the Copyright Licensing Agency, can be found at our website: www.elsevier.com/permissions. This book and the individual contri- butions contained in it are protected under copyright by the Publisher (other than as may be noted herein). Notices Knowledge and best practice in this field are constantly changing. As new research and experience broaden our understanding, changes in research methods, professional practices, or medical treatment may become necessary. Practitioners and researchers must always rely on their own experience and knowledge in evaluating and using any information, methods, compounds, or experiments described herein. In using such information or methods they should be mindful of their own safety and the safety of others, including parties for whom they have a professional responsibility. To the fullest extent of the law, neither the Publisher nor the authors, contributors, or editors, assume any liability for any injury and/or damage to persons or property as a matter of products liability, negligence or otherwise, or from any use or operation of any methods, products, instructions, or ideas contained in the material herein. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data User experience re-mastered: your guide to getting the right design/edited by Chauncey Wilson. p. cm. ISBN 978-0-12-375114-0 1. User interfaces (Computer systems)—Design. 2. Human-computer interaction. 3. Web sites—Design. I. Wilson, Chauncey. QA76.9.U83U833 2009 006.7—dc22 2009028127 British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. ISBN: 978-0-12-375114-0 For information on all Morgan Kaufmann publications, visit our Web site at www.mkp.com or www.elsevierdirect.com Printed in Canada. 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 5 4 3 2 1 Typeset by diacriTech, Chennai, India Please purchase PDF Split-Merge on www.verypdf.com to remove this watermark.
  6. Contents v CONTRIBUTORS .............................................................................................................................. xiii PART 1 ● Defining Usability .................................................1 CHAPTER 1 What Is Usability? (Jakob Nielsen) ......................................................3 Usability and Other Considerations....................................................................4 Definition of Usability ............................................................................................6 Learnability ........................................................................................................ 7 Efficiency of Use ..............................................................................................9 Memorability .....................................................................................................9 Few and Noncatastrophic Errors ...............................................................10 Subjective Satisfaction..................................................................................11 Example: Measuring the Usability of Icons.....................................................14 Usability Trade-Offs ............................................................................................. 17 Categories of Users and Individual User Differences ..................................18 End Notes .............................................................................................................. 22 CHAPTER 2 User Needs Analysis (Tom Brinck, Darren Gergle, and Scott D. Wood)............................................................................................. 23 Introduction ........................................................................................................... 24 The Objectives of User Needs Analysis ......................................................... 24 Setting Your Objectives ..................................................................................... 25 The Stakeholders .......................................................................................... 25 Business Goals............................................................................................... 28 User Goals....................................................................................................... 28 Define the Usability Objectives ................................................................. 28 Define the Functional Specifications .......................................................30 Background Research .......................................................................................... 31 Surveys................................................................................................................... 32 What to Ask About ....................................................................................... 32 How to Structure the Survey Responses? ...............................................33 Sampling ..........................................................................................................37 Avoiding Bias ..................................................................................................41 Please purchase PDF Split-Merge on www.verypdf.com to remove this watermark.
  7. vi Contents When to Use Surveys ................................................................................... 43 Competitive Analysis .......................................................................................... 43 Interviews and Focus Groups ...........................................................................46 Conducting the Interview or Focus Group ..............................................46 Organizations .................................................................................................49 Preparing for an Interview or Focus Group ............................................49 Focus Groups .................................................................................................. 51 When to Conduct Interviews and Focus Groups ....................................53 Informed Project Objectives ..............................................................................53 Task Analysis..........................................................................................................53 What is Task Analysis? ........................................................................................ 54 Task Analysis for Web Site Design .................................................................. 56 Use Cases ...............................................................................................................57 Hierarchical Task Analysis ................................................................................. 58 User-Level Goals and Procedures ............................................................ 58 Platform-Level Goals and Procedures..................................................... 58 Application-Level Goals and Procedures ................................................ 59 Understanding the Tasks and Their Context .......................................... 59 Hierarchical Task Analysis for Web Site Design ....................................60 Techniques for Understanding Tasks ..............................................................60 Training Materials...........................................................................................61 Standard Operating Procedures ................................................................61 Observation .....................................................................................................61 Interviews and Focus Groups......................................................................61 Think-Aloud Protocol ....................................................................................61 Instrumented Browsers ............................................................................... 62 Contextual Inquiry......................................................................................... 62 How Far Down Should You Decompose a Procedure? ........................ 63 A Hybrid Approach to Task Analysis ...............................................................64 Start with Use Cases ....................................................................................64 Decompose Tasks Hierarchically ............................................................... 65 Determine Appropriate Technologies ......................................................66 Performance Improvements..............................................................................66 Consistency ....................................................................................................66 Brevity and Clarity ........................................................................................69 Combined Functionality and Fewer Server Requests..........................69 Example: Inefficient Tasks........................................................................... 70 Human-Error-Tolerant Design............................................................................ 71 Example: Error Recovery ............................................................................. 71 Please purchase PDF Split-Merge on www.verypdf.com to remove this watermark.
  8. Contents vii CHAPTER 3 Card Sorting (Catherine Courage and Kathy Baxter).....................73 Introduction ............................................................................................................73 When Should You Conduct a Card Sort? .........................................................74 Things to be Aware of When Conducting a Card Sort..................................75 Group or Individual Card Sort? ..........................................................................75 Preparing to Conduct a Card Sort.....................................................................75 Preparation Timeline .................................................................................... 76 Identify Objects and Definitions for Sorting .......................................... 76 Activity Materials .......................................................................................... 79 Additional Data Collected in a Card Sort .................................................80 Players in Your Activity................................................................................ 82 Preparing to Conduct a Card Sort ............................................................. 82 Inviting Observers......................................................................................... 83 Conducting a Card Sort ...................................................................................... 83 Activity Timeline ............................................................................................84 Welcome the Participants ...........................................................................84 Practice............................................................................................................84 Card Review and Sorting .............................................................................84 Labeling Groups ............................................................................................86 Data Analysis and Interpretation .....................................................................86 Suggested Resources for Additional Reading ..............................................90 Analysis with a Card Sorting Program .....................................................90 Analysis with a Statistics Package ...........................................................90 Analysis with a Spreadsheet Package .....................................................90 Data That Computer Programs Cannot Handle ......................................91 Interpreting the Results............................................................................... 92 Communicate the Findings ................................................................................ 93 Preparing to Communicate Your Findings .............................................. 93 Modifications ........................................................................................................94 Limit the Number of Groups .......................................................................94 Electronic Card Sorting ...............................................................................94 Suggested Resources for Additional Reading .............................................. 95 Prename the Groups .................................................................................... 95 Lessons Learned ..................................................................................................96 Pulling It All Together .........................................................................................96 How Card Sorting Changed a Web Site Team’s View of How the Site Should be Organized........................................................................................... 97 Our Approach ................................................................................................. 97 Planning and Preparing for the Card Sorting .........................................98 Please purchase PDF Split-Merge on www.verypdf.com to remove this watermark.
  9. viii Contents The Analysis ..................................................................................................101 Main Findings ...............................................................................................102 What Happened to the Web site?............................................................ 103 Acknowledgments .............................................................................................104 PART 2 ● Generating Ideas ........................................... 105 CHAPTER 4 Brainstorming (Chauncey Wilson) .................................................... 107 Introduction ......................................................................................................... 107 When Should You Use Brainstorming? ..................................................109 Strengths of Brainstorming .......................................................................110 Weaknesses of Brainstorming ..................................................................110 Procedures and Practical Advice on Brainstorming .............................111 Variations and Extensions to Brainstorming .........................................119 Free Listing....................................................................................................119 Major Issues in the Use of Brainstorming ..............................................127 Data Analysis for Brainstorming .............................................................. 131 What Do You Need for Brainstorming? .................................................. 132 Recommended Readings .......................................................................... 134 CHAPTER 5 Sketching: A Key to Good Design (Bill Buxton) ..................135 The Question of Design.................................................................................... 136 We Are Not All Designers ................................................................................140 The Anatomy of Sketching ..............................................................................140 From Thinking on to Acting on ....................................................................... 149 CHAPTER 6 Persona Conception and Gestation (John Pruitt and Tamara Adlin)......................................................................155 Setting the Scene: What’s Going on in Your Organization Now? ............155 What is Conception and Gestation for Personas?...................................... 156 The Six-Step Conception and Gestation Process ............................... 156 How Long Does Conception and Gestation Take? .............................. 158 How Many Personas Should You Create? .............................................. 161 Persona Conception: Steps 1, 2, and 3 ......................................................... 166 Step 1: Identify Important Categories of Users ................................... 166 Step 2: Process the Data ...........................................................................173 Plan Your Assimilation Meeting ................................................................177 Describe the Goal and Outcome of the Meeting ..................................177 Identify Key Data Points (Factoids) in the Data Sources ..................178 Transfer Factoids to Sticky Notes............................................................178 Post User Category Labels Around the Room......................................179 Please purchase PDF Split-Merge on www.verypdf.com to remove this watermark.
  10. Contents ix Assimilate the Factoids ..............................................................................179 Label the Clusters of Factoids ..................................................................181 Step 3: Identify Subcategories of Users and Create Skeletons ......................................................................................... 182 Persona Gestation: Steps 4, 5, and 6 ........................................................... 186 Step 4: Prioritize the Skeletons .............................................................. 186 Step 5: Develop Selected Skeletons into Personas ...........................190 Step 6: Validate Your Personas .............................................................. 209 How to Know You are Ready for Birth and Maturation ............................ 218 Summary .............................................................................................................. 219 CHAPTER 7 Verify Prototype Assumptions and Requirements (Jonathan Arnowitz, Michael Arent, and Nevin Berger) ....................... 221 Introduction .........................................................................................................222 Prototyping Requirements are not Software Requirements ................222 Transformation of Assumptions to Requirements .................................... 224 Step 1: Gather Requirements ...................................................................225 Step 2: Inventory the Requirements and Assumptions .....................227 Step 3: Prioritize Requirements and Assumptions ............................ 228 Requirements and the Big Picture................................................................ 229 Iteration 1: From Idea to First Visualization............................................... 229 Iteration 2: From Quick Wireframe to Wireframe .....................................232 Iteration 3: From Wireframe to Storyboard .................................................233 Iteration 4: From Storyboard to Paper Prototype ...................................235 Iteration 5: From Paper Prototype to Coded Prototype ..........................236 Iteration 6: From Coded Prototype to Software Requirements ............238 Summary ..............................................................................................................239 PART 3 ● Designing Your Site......................................... 241 CHAPTER 8 Designing for the Web (Debbie Stone, Caroline Jarrett, Mark Woodroffe, and Shailey Minocha) ....................................................243 Introduction ........................................................................................................ 244 The Lovely Rooms Hotel Booking Service ..................................................245 Domain...........................................................................................................245 Users ..............................................................................................................245 Tasks...............................................................................................................245 Environment ................................................................................................ 246 Technology................................................................................................... 246 Conceptual Design ..................................................................................... 246 Please purchase PDF Split-Merge on www.verypdf.com to remove this watermark.
  11. x Contents Design Principles for Web Sites .................................................................... 246 High-Quality Content ................................................................................ 246 Often Updated ............................................................................................ 248 Minimal Download Time ........................................................................... 248 Ease of Use.................................................................................................. 248 Relevant to User’s Needs ......................................................................... 248 Unique to the Online Medium ................................................................. 248 Net-centric Corporate Culture................................................................. 249 Designing Web Sites ........................................................................................ 249 Designing the Web Site Structure ......................................................... 249 Helping the Users Know Where They Are.............................................252 Helping the Users Navigate around the Site ........................................252 Navigation Aids ...........................................................................................255 Designing Home Pages and Interior Pages.................................................257 Designing the Home Page ........................................................................258 Designing Interior Pages...........................................................................258 Design Issues for Web Pages......................................................................... 260 Widgets on Web Pages ............................................................................. 260 Scrolling........................................................................................................ 262 Designing for Different Screens and Platforms ................................. 262 Using the Screen Area Effectively ......................................................... 264 Improving the Download Time ................................................................ 264 Using Style Sheets .................................................................................... 266 Designing for Accessibility....................................................................... 269 Writing the Content of Web Pages ............................................................... 269 Keep Text to a Minimum ........................................................................... 269 Help Users to Scan .....................................................................................270 Dividing Long Blocks of Text into Separate Sections .........................271 Summary ...............................................................................................................271 PART 4 ● Evaluation, Analysis ...................................... 273 CHAPTER 9 Final Preparations for the Evaluation (Debbie Stone, Caroline Jarrett, Mark Woodroffe, and Shailey Minocha) ...................275 Introduction .........................................................................................................275 Roles for Evaluators ..........................................................................................277 Facilitator ......................................................................................................277 Notetaker ......................................................................................................278 Equipment Operator...................................................................................278 Observer........................................................................................................278 Please purchase PDF Split-Merge on www.verypdf.com to remove this watermark.
  12. Contents xi Meeter and Greeter ....................................................................................279 Recruiter........................................................................................................279 The Lone Evaluator ....................................................................................279 Creating an Evaluation Script .........................................................................279 An Example of an Evaluation Script ...................................................... 280 Forms to Use When Asking for Permission to Record............................. 282 Nondisclosure Agreements ......................................................................285 The Pilot Test ..................................................................................................... 286 Participants for Your Pilot Test ............................................................... 286 Design and Assemble the Test Environment ....................................... 286 Run the Pilot Test ....................................................................................... 286 Summary ..............................................................................................................287 CHAPTER 10 Usability Tests (Michael Kuniavsky) .............................................. 289 Usability Tests.................................................................................................... 290 When to Test ...................................................................................................... 290 Example of an Iterative Testing Process: Webmonkey 2.0 Global Navigation ........................................................................................ 291 How to Do it ....................................................................................................... 294 Preparation .................................................................................................. 294 Conducting The Interview ................................................................................. 311 The Physical Layout .................................................................................... 311 How to Analyze it ................................................................................................317 Collecting Observations ............................................................................ 318 Organizing Observations ......................................................................... 320 Extracting Trends ....................................................................................... 320 Example ......................................................................................................... 321 CHAPTER 11 Analysis and Interpretation of User Observation Evaluation Data (Debbie Stone, Caroline Jarrett, Mark Woodroffe, and Shailey Minocha) ....................................................327 Introduction: How to Analyze and Interpret Data from Your Evaluation ............................................................................................................328 Collating the Data ..............................................................................................328 Summarizing the Data ......................................................................................330 Reviewing the Data to Identify Usability Problems ..................................330 Working with Quantitative Data .....................................................................332 Working with Qualitative Data........................................................................334 An Example of Data from Global Warming ...........................................334 Making Decisions with Qualitative Data ...............................................336 Interpretation of User-Observation Data .................................................... 337 Please purchase PDF Split-Merge on www.verypdf.com to remove this watermark.
  13. xii Contents Assigning Severities ................................................................................... 337 Recommending Changes ........................................................................... 337 Writing the Evaluation Report ........................................................................339 Should You Describe Your Method? ...................................................... 342 Describing Your Results ............................................................................343 Summary ............................................................................................................. 344 CHAPTER 12 Inspections of the User Interface (Debbie Stone, Caroline Jarrett, Mark Woodroffe, and Shailey Minocha) .................345 Introduction ........................................................................................................ 346 Creating the Evaluation Plan for Heuristic Inspection ............................. 346 Choosing the Heuristics............................................................................ 346 The Inspectors ............................................................................................ 346 Conducting a Heuristic Inspection ................................................................ 350 Task Descriptions ....................................................................................... 350 The Location of the Evaluation Session ............................................... 350 Collecting Evaluation Data.........................................................................351 Analysis of Heuristic Inspection Data ............................................................351 Interpretation of Heuristic Inspection Data ................................................352 Benefits and Limitations of Heuristic Evaluations ....................................352 Variations of Usability Inspection ..................................................................354 Participatory Heuristic Evaluations ........................................................354 Guideline Reviews .......................................................................................356 Standards Inspections ...............................................................................356 Cognitive Walkthrough...............................................................................356 Peer Reviews ...............................................................................................357 Summary ..............................................................................................................357 REFERENCES .................................................................................................................................359 INDEX ................................................................................................................................................ 375 Please purchase PDF Split-Merge on www.verypdf.com to remove this watermark.
  14. Contributors xiii Jakob Nielsen User Advocate and Principal, Nielsen Norman Group. Tom Brinck Creative Director, A9.com. Darren Gergle Assistant Professor, Northwestern University. Scott D. Wood Soar Technology, Inc. Kathy Baxter Senior User Experience Researcher, Google. Catherine Courage Vice President of User Experience, Citrix Systems. Chauncey Wilson Senior User Researcher, Autodesk. Bill Buxton Principal Researcher, Microsoft. John Pruitt Senior Program Manager, Microsoft. Tamara Adlin Founding Partner, Fell Swoop. Michael Arent Vice President of User Interface Standards, SAP Labs. Jonathan Arnowitz User Experience Strategist, Stroomt Interactions. Nevin Berger Senior Director of User Experience, TechWeb of United Business Media. Dr. Debbie Stone Project Manager, Infinite Group, and former Lecturer, Open University. Caroline Jarrett Director, EffortMark. Shailey Minocha Senior Lecturer of Human–Computer Interaction, Open University. Mark Woodroffe Deputy Head of the Computing Department, Open University. Michael Kuniavsky Cofounder and Head of Design, ThingM Corp. Please purchase PDF Split-Merge on www.verypdf.com to remove this watermark.
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  16. PART 1 Defining Usability Please purchase PDF Split-Merge on www.verypdf.com to remove this watermark.
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  18. CHAPTER 1 What Is Usability? 3 Jakob Nielsen EDITOR’S COMMENTS Jakob Nielsen has been a leading figure in the usability field since the 1980s and this chapter from his classic book, Usability Engineering (Nielsen, 1993), highlights the mul- tidimensional nature of usability. To be usable, a product or service must consider, at a minimum, these five basic dimensions: ■ Learnability ■ Efficiency ■ Memorability ■ Error tolerance and prevention ■ Satisfaction An important point made by Nielsen and other usability experts is that the importance of these dimensions will differ depending on the particular context and target users. For something like a bank automated teller machine (ATM) or information kiosk in a museum, learnability might be the major focus of usability practitioners. For complex systems such as jet planes, railway systems, and nuclear power plants, the critical dimensions might be error tolerance and error prevention, followed by memorability and efficiency. If you can’t remember the proper code to use when an alarm goes off in a nuclear power plant, a catastrophic event affecting many people over several generations might occur. In the years since this chapter was published, the phrase “user experience” has emerged as the successor to “usability.” User experience practitioners consider additional dimen- sions such as aesthetics, pleasure, and consistency with moral values, as important for the success of many products and services. These user experience dimensions, while important, still depend on a solid usability foundation. You can design an attractive product Copyright © 2010 Elsevier, Inc. All rights Reserved. Please purchase PDF Split-Merge on www.verypdf.com to remove this watermark.
  19. 4 User Experience Re-Mastered: Your Guide to Getting the Right Design that is consistent with your moral values, but sales of that attractive product may suffer if it is hard to learn, not very efficient, and error prone. Jakob’s chapter describes what is needed to establish a solid foundation for usability – a timeless topic. You can read essays by Jakob on topics related to many aspects of usability and user experience at http://www.useit.com. Back when computer vendors first started viewing users as more than an incon- venience, the term of choice was “user friendly” systems. This term is not really appropriate, however, for several reasons. First, it is unnecessarily anthropomor- phic – users don’t need machines to be friendly to them, they just need machines that will not stand in their way when they try to get their work done. Second, it implies that users’ needs can be described along a single dimension by systems that are more or less friendly. In reality, different users have different needs, and a system that is “friendly” to one may feel very tedious to another. Because of these problems with the term user friendly, user interface pro- fessionals have tended to use other terms in recent years. The field itself is known under names like computer–human interaction (CHI), human– computer interaction (HCI), which is preferred by some who like “putting the human first” even if only done symbolically, user-centered design (UCD), man-machine interface (MMI), human-machine interface (HMI), operator- machine interface (OMI), user interface design (UID), human factors (HF), and ergonomics,1 etc. I tend to use the term usability to denote the considerations that can be addressed by the methods covered in this book. As shown in the following section, there are also broader issues to consider within the overall framework of traditional “user friendliness.” USABILITY AND OTHER CONSIDERATIONS To some extent, usability is a narrow concern compared with the larger issue of system acceptability, which basically is the question of whether the sys- tem is good enough to satisfy all the needs and requirements of the users and other potential stakeholders, such as the users’ clients and managers. The overall acceptability of a computer system is again a combination of its social acceptability and its practical acceptability. As an example of social accept- ability, consider a system to investigate whether people applying for unem- ployment benefits are currently gainfully employed and thus have submitted fraudulent applications. The system might do this by asking applicants a number of questions and searching their answers for inconsistencies or pro- files that are often indicative of cheaters. Some people may consider such a fraud-preventing system highly socially desirable, but others may find it Please purchase PDF Split-Merge on www.verypdf.com to remove this watermark.
  20. What Is Usability? CHAPTER 1 5 offensive to subject applicants to this kind of quizzing and socially undesirable to delay benefits for people fitting certain profiles. Notice that people in the latter category may not find the system acceptable even if it got high scores on practical acceptability in terms of identifying many cheaters and were easy to use for the applicants. EDITOR’S NOTE: SOCIAL NETWORKING AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY In the years since the publication of this chapter, social networking and other collaboration technologies, such as Facebook, Twitter, and blogs, have become popular with millions of users. These new technologies have great promise for bringing people together but also pose new issues around social acceptability. Take Twitter as an example. Messages about conditions at work or how bad one’s managers are might be considered socially accept- able whining by the originator, but the person’s managers might view the same whining on Twitter as detrimental to the company. Comments on social networking sites can persist for years and a single photo or comment could harm someone’s chances for a new job or affect revenue for a company. Human resource personnel can Google much personal information when they screen candidates, but is that socially acceptable? Social network- ing can be a boon or a disaster for individuals and organizations. Given that a system is socially acceptable, we can further analyze its practical acceptability within various categories, including traditional categories such as cost, support, reliability, compatibility with existing systems, as well as the cat- egory of usefulness. Usefulness is the issue of whether the system can be used to achieve some desired goal. It can again be broken down into the two categories, utility and usability (Grudin, 1992), where utility is the question of whether the functionality of the system in principle can do what is needed and usabil- ity is the question of how well users can use that functionality. Note that the concept of “utility” does not necessarily have to be restricted to the domain of hard work. Educational software (courseware) has high utility if students learn from using it, and an entertainment product has high utility if it is fun to use. Figure 1.1 shows the simple model of system acceptability outlined here. It is clear from the figure that system acceptability has many components and that usability must trade-off against many other considerations in a development project. Usability applies to all aspects of a system with which a human might interact, including installation and maintenance procedures. It is very rare to find a computer feature that truly has no user interface components. Even a facility to transfer data between two computers will normally include an interface to trouble-shoot the link when something goes wrong (Mulligan, Altom, & Simkin, 1991). As another example, I recently established two electronic mail addresses for a committee I was managing. The two addresses were ic93-papers-administrator and ic93-papers-committee (for e-mail to Please purchase PDF Split-Merge on www.verypdf.com to remove this watermark.

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