The author suggests expanding your role as a technical communicator to enhance software usability by creating better user interface labels and application messages. Henry bases his suggestions on an integrated user-centered information design (UCID) approach driven by product usability. He explains UCID, describes how to prepare for a new role as a 'designer of product usability,' and shows how to effectively design labels and develop application messages.
People spend a great deal of time driving their cars, so cars should be as easy to use, and as effective as possible. However, most cars are filled with common design mistakes that are annoyances at the least, and often downright dangerous.
When users perform a transaction or action, their cognition is often split between learning and operating the system or user interface (UI). A well-designed UI allows users to focus the majority of their cognitive energy on learning, and offers no operational complications. This most general principle of usability is often called the 'transparent interface.' The transparent interface is commonly defined as one that maximizes user task completion and minimizes interfering factors, such as unnecessary interface complexity or performance.
The design of a special-purpose selection list is reviewed. As part of a performance-support application for classroom teachers, a means was needed for rapid selection from a large number of alternative words. By taking into account the inherent structure of the terms in the list, instead of treating it as a simple list of unspecified objects, a more efficient and more easily used design was achieved. By incorporating the structure of the alternatives, the design was also able to reflect and support best practices in classroom lesson planning.
It's not that people resist change whole-scale. They just hate losing control and feeling stupid. When we make critical changes, we risk putting our users in that position. We must take care to ensure that we've considered the process of change as much as we've considered the technology changes themselves. Only then will we end up with changes that our users embrace.
Rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) represents a mechanism for exhibiting temporal information instead of spatial information to overcome the limitations of small-screen devices. Previous studies examining this area focused only on information presented by RSVP displays and disregarded changes in the performance of accompanying tasks associated with such displays. Therefore, this investigation performed a dual-task experiment (a search task for static information and a reading task for RSVP display information) to examine the effects of presentation mode (character-by-character, word-by-word, and one-line format), speed (171, 260, 350, and 430 characters per minute, or cpm), and text-flow orientation (vertical and horizontal orientation) of RSVP display information on the visual performance of users during different stages of usage (whether current usage is the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, or eighth day of usage) for a small screen.
Los enlaces, en la actual Web, tienen la función de representar un vínculo o conexión unidireccional entre dos nodos web. Son la unidad básica de interacción de los sistemas hipertexto, por lo que la interacción en la Web comúnmente es conocida como Navegación. En un espacio virtual compuesto por nodos y vínculos entre dichos nodos, si se entiende que la ubicación del usuario está en el nodo que se encuentra visualizando, la interacción sobre los enlaces con la posterior visualización de otros nodos se entiende como un desplazamiento o, en un océano de nodos, como navegación. Para que el usuario dentro de nuestro sitio web experimente una navegación eficiente, fácil y satisfactoria, los enlaces no sólo tendrán que conectar nodos con contenidos verdaderamente relacionados, sino además presentarse de tal forma que el usuario entienda sin ambigüedades que se trata de un enlace, comprendiendo consecuentemente su función.
A usability assessment entailing a paper prototype was conducted to examine menu selection theories on a small screen device by determining the effectiveness, efficiency, and user satisfaction of a popular cellular phone's menu system. Outcomes of this study suggest that users prefer a less extensive menu structure on a small screen device. The investigation also covered factors of category classification and item labeling influencing user performance in menu selection. Research findings suggest that proper modifications in these areas could significantly enhance the system's usability and demonstrate the validity of paper-prototyping which is capable of detecting significant differences in usability measures among various model designs.
Current networked and local data exploration systems that use command languages (e.g. SQL), menus, or form fillin interfaces do not give users an indication of the distribution of data in their databases. This often leads users to waste time, posing queries that have zero-hit or mega-hit results. Query previews are a novel visual approach for browsing and querying networked or local databases. Query previews supply users with data distribution information for selected attributes of a database, and give continuous feedback about the size of the result set as the query is being formed. Subsequent refinements might be necessary to narrow the search sufficiently. Because there is a risk that query previews are an additional step, leading to a more complex and slow search process, we ran a within subjects empirical study with 12 subjects who used interfaces with and without query previews and with no network delays. Even with this small number of subjects and minimized network delays we found statistically significant differences showing that query previews could speed up performance 1.6 to 2.1 times and lead to higher subjective satisfaction.
When we ask designers what stage they spend the bulk of their time in when launching a product, the majority of designers answer, the Implementation Stage. However, our research shows that the teams launching the most usable products on schedule and on budget spend the bulk of their time in the Measure and Learn stage.
Completar formularios en los sitios web es uno de los procesos que requiere normalmente mayor esfuerzo por parte del usuario. No disponer de formularios 'usables' puede ser una de las causas de abandono más frecuente de un sitio web. Para conseguir formularios usables se deben tener en cuenta muchos aspectos. Uno de ellos, es diferenciar de forma fácil y clara los campos obligatorios de los opcionales. En este artículo se muestran y valoran lo diferentes métodos que utilizan para ello las webs de banca de particulares españolas. El trabajo de campo realizado ha consistido en revisar los procesos de ejecución de transferencias y de registro de nuevos clientes (si lo hubiera) de los sitios web de los siguientes trece bancos: Patagon, Cajamadrid, Cam, Uno-e, eBankinter, CaixaCatalunya, BancoPopular-e, Santander Central Hispano, BBVA, La Caixa, El Monte, Ing-direct, Banesto.
Icons that are difficult to tell apart can lead to disastrous consequences. Queen shows us how studying the way the human visual system encodes information can lead to more effective icon design.
Affordance allows us to look at something and intuitively understand how to interact with it. For example, when we see a small button next to a door, we know we should push it with a finger. Convention tells us it will make a sound, notifying the homeowner that someone is at the door. This concept transfers to the virtual environment: when we see a 3D-shaped button on a web page, we understand that we are supposed to “push” it with a mouse-click.
While the FDA has always required thorough documentation of product development, recent initiatives have instituted a more prescriptive, design-focused procedure encouraging extensive user research at the beginning of the development process.
Efforts to understand user requirements commonly focus on the functionality and features of a product. However, it is important to analyze other product attributes, such as usability. A product may meet all of its functional requirements, but can fail if it has an interface that is difficult to navigate and learn. To address this problem, it is important to get feedback from users as early in the development life cycle as possible. A common technique is to develop a prototype or mockup of a product's interface to present to users.
This paper focuses on managing constraints in a way that enables developers to create an accessible and usable user interface (UI). The constraining processes presented in this paper comprise of a language to describe a logical web page in an application, a basic bottom-up repository management system and the processing required for compiling pages.
At Microsoft we have full-time employees, called usability engineers, who are trained to help product teams understand what the user's needs are, and analyze how well our product user interfaces match those needs. They do a great deal of work, and understand the discipline of UI design and data collection really well. They are critical to the success of our products. As I've learned from the e-mail I've been getting at firstname.lastname@example.org, most developers don't have the luxury of this kind of support, and are on their own to make good interface design decisions. This issue will introduce a basic development process that helps good UI make it into products. Word of warning: There is no magic recipe for good UI, or for writing good code, and I can't guarantee improved interfaces without some extra effort.
La creciente popularización de las nuevas tecnologías de la información obliga a que cualquier producto interactivo sea diseñado para una audiencia cada vez más heterogénea y menos tolerante con experiencias de uso frustrantes. Las técnicas, metodologías y prácticas propias de la Usabilidad y Accesibilidad, intentan hacer frente a este hecho, estudiando las necesidades, objetivos y comportamiento del usuario, y enfocando cualquier decisión sobre el diseño, así como la evaluación, en base a estos factores.
Perhaps we should look to the simplest elements of usability for inspiration. Perhaps it's time to recognize the contribution of a single humble helper. Yes, it's time for an ode to Balloon Help.
One of the most frequent tasks on many intranets is finding people within the company. Providing an effective way to search people is thus a key goal in designing intranets. This goal becomes even more important for an organization like Emirates, a leading international airline, which has over 35,000 employees with over 140 nationalities and where more people are likely to use this feature more frequently.