UCD Week 2 Thoughts + Workings

There is a presentation this week. Group work done over GDRIVE was quite successful. We all contributed equally and communicated. I played PM, even though it was sly and unannounced. My actions helped to streamline the process.

The presentation went okay, if as discomfortingly stuttery as usual – made unnoticeably worse by my noticing that Safia left the room for a moment. I’m a little depressed about putting so much effort into unmarked work. It’s not pointless though, as any work is developmental.

I have a small document built up that I hope can be translated into work that is marked.

Some notes:

Ensure a ‘back’ function is present

Present a convention and stick to it

Implement error prevention

Add ‘accelerators’ to facilitate expert users without affecting common users

Shackel’s LEAF (Learnability – Effectiveness – Attitude – Flexibility)

Nielsen’s 5 usage components (Learnability(speed) – Errors(amount) – Memorability(rating) – Efficiency(tasks/timeframe/skill) – Satisfaction(rating))

Usability engineering involves Clear definitions of aims – Evaluating design with users – Incorporating results into iterative design

Evaluation goals are to provide a clear understanding of the reasoning behind the evaluation. e.g. user ratings, completion times

Multiple evaluation methods must be used to provide basis for correlations

Usability testing – (When, Who, Relating to, Collected data, Output, Cost)

In surveys, even number rating-scales are more decisive

What sources did you use for your research and why?

I used the internet and a quick library perusal. Aside from the few books I saw such as J Rubin’s Handbook of Usability Testing, the internet provided most of my references. I used usability.gov, usabilitynet.org, ISO definitions (13407/9241), w3, PRWD, webcredible and no Wikipedia.

I deduced that multiple sources would be beneficial, to provide a clearer viewpoint of UCD concepts with the ‘triangulation’ of information.

How reliable were those sources? How would you approach the research next time?

It seems that, due to their agreement, the sources used were reliable. However, a few search results were seemingly unreliable or poorly written. I was only able to verify whether information was precise by comparing common overviews with correlations from various sources.

What did you learn from this exercise?

I learned about the UCD process, which I was unaware of before.

Contrary to the belief of UCD fundamentals being common-sense, UCD is a process that incorporates a philosophy and many practical methods.

Overall, I learned an approach to make designs and developments better, that is usable at any scale.

Briefly summarising Interaction Design by Bruce “Tog” Tognazzini

(found at: http://asktog.com/atc/principles-of-interaction-design/)

This online resource compiles the fundamental principles to ‘the design and implementation of effective interfaces’, implementable on all computing devices.

The resource is available in the most popular European languages and poses that the principles listed within should be employed to ensure that a system’s interfaces ‘do not concern the user with the inner workings of the system’ and ‘perform a maximum of work, while requiring a minimum of information from users’.

Revised many times over the years, the latest edition (2014) adds the principles of ‘aesthetics’, ‘simplicity’ and ‘discoverability’. It asks for omnipresence of the fundamental principle of ‘continuous saving’ facilitating ‘undo’ functionality.

A few ‘principles’:

Offer users stable perceptual cues for a sense of “home”

The time to acquire a target is a function of the distance to and size of the target (Fitts’s Law). Use small objects for functions you would prefer users not perform

Text that must be read should have high contrast

Limit screen counts by using overlays

Ensure that users never lose their work

The resource is highly beneficial and provides methods to obtain all of the gains found in high usability.



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