Lecture 2: User-Centered Design

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Lecture 2: User-Centered Design. Ibrahim A. Atoum Portable-02, Room-03 University of Hail, KSA i.atoum @uoh.edu.sa http:// faculty.uoh.edu.sa/i.atoum/. This weeks Topics. Traditional Software Engineering Process: Waterfall Model. Feedback in the Waterfall Model. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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<p>Lecture 1: Introduction to Usability</p> <p>Lecture 2: User-Centered DesignIbrahim A. AtoumPortable-02, Room-03University of Hail, KSAi.atoum@uoh.edu.sahttp://faculty.uoh.edu.sa/i.atoum/ 1SWE-312 : User Interface Design (Semester-112)University of HailThis weeks Topics</p> <p>2SWE-312 : User Interface Design (Semester-112)This weeks lectures concern two topics.First, well look at UI design from a very high-level, considering the shape of the processthat we should use to build user interfaces. Iterative design is the current best-practiceprocess for developing user interfaces. Its a specialization of the spiral model described byBoehm for general software engineering. Your term project is structured as an iterativedesign.Second, well look at how to get started with UI design how to start the crank and get theUI design cycle going. Task analysis is the process by which you discover thecharacteristics of your target users and the tasks that they need to solve.2SWE-312 : User Interface Design (Semester-112)University of HailTraditional Software Engineering Process:Waterfall Model</p> <p>3SWE-312 : User Interface Design (Semester-112)The waterfall model was one of the earliest carefully-articulated design processes forsoftware development. It models the design process as a sequence of stages. Each stageresults in a concrete product a requirements document, a design, a set of coded modules that feeds into the next stage. Each stage also includes its own validation: the design isvalidated against the requirements, the code is validated (unit-tested) against the design, etc.The biggest improvement of the waterfall model over previous (chaotic) approaches tosoftware development is the discipline it puts on developers to think first, and codesecond. Requirements and designs generally precede the first line of code.If youve taken SWE214 (or a similar software engineering course), youve experienced thisprocess yourself. The lecturers handed you a set of requirements for the software you hadto build --- e.g. the specification of GizmoBall or Antichess. (In the real world, identifyingthese requirements would be part of your job as software developers.) You were thenexpected to meet certain milestones for each stage of your project, and each milestone had aconcrete product: (1) a design document; (2) code modules that implemented certainfunctionality; (3) an integrated system.3SWE-312 : User Interface Design (Semester-112)University of HailFeedback in the Waterfall Model4SWE-312 : User Interface Design (Semester-112)</p> <p>Validation is not always sufficient; sometimes problems are missed until the next stage.Trying to code the design may reveal flaws in the design e.g., that it cant beimplemented in a way that meets the performance requirements. Trying to integrate mayreveal bugs in the code that werent exposed by unit tests. So the waterfall model implicitlyneeds feedback between stages.The danger arises when a mistake in an early stage such as a missing requirement isntdiscovered until a very late stage like acceptance testing. Mistakes like this can forcecostly rework of the intervening stages. (That box labeled Code may look small, but youknow from experience that it isnt!)4SWE-312 : User Interface Design (Semester-112)University of HailWaterfall Model Is Bad for UI Design5SWE-312 : User Interface Design (Semester-112)User interface design is riskySo were likely to get it wrongUsers are not involved in validation until acceptance testingSo we wont find out until the endUI flaws often cause changes in requirements and designSo we have to throw away carefully-written and tested codeAlthough the waterfall model is useful for some kinds of software development, its verypoorly suited to user interface development.First, UI development is inherently risky. UI design is hard for all the reasons we discussedin the previous lecture. (You are not the user; the user is always right, except when the userisnt; users arent designers either.) We dont (yet) have an easy way to predict howwhether a UI design will succeed.Second, in the usual way that the waterfall model is applied, users appear in the process inonly two places: requirements analysis and acceptance testing. Hopefully we asked theusers what they needed at the beginning (requirements analysis), but then we code happilyaway and dont check back with the users until were ready to present them with a finishedsystem. So if we screwed up the design, the waterfall process wont tell us until the end.Third, when UI problems arise, they often require dramatic fixes: new requirements ornew design. We saw last lecture that slapping on patches doesnt fix serious usabilityproblems.5SWE-312 : User Interface Design (Semester-112)University of HailIterative Design6SWE-312 : User Interface Design (Semester-112)</p> <p>Iterative design offers a way to manage the inherent risk in user interface design. Initerative design, the software is refined by repeated trips around a design cycle: firstimagining it (design), then realizing it physically (implementation), then testing it(evaluation).OK but this just looks like the worst-case waterfall model, where we made it all the wayfrom design to acceptance testing before discovering a design flaw that forced us to repeatthe process! Whats the trick here?6SWE-312 : User Interface Design (Semester-112)University of HailIterative Design the Wrong Way7SWE-312 : User Interface Design (Semester-112) Every iteration corresponds to a releaseEvaluation (complaints) feeds back into next versions designUsing your paying customers to evaluate your usability They wont like it They wont buy version 2Unfortunately, many commercial UI projects have followed this model. They do a standardwaterfall design, produce a bad UI, and release it. Evaluation then takes place in themarketplace, as hapless customers buy their product and complain about it. Then theyiterate the design process on version 2.7SWE-312 : User Interface Design (Semester-112)University of HailSpiral Model8SWE-312 : User Interface Design (Semester-112)</p> <p>The spiral model offers a way out of the dilemma. We build room for several iterationsinto our design process, and we do it by making the early iterations as cheap as possible.The radial dimension of the spiral model corresponds to the cost of the iteration step or,equivalently, its fidelity or accuracy. For example, an early implementation might be apaper sketch or mockup. Its low-fidelity, only a pale shadow of what it would look andbehave like as interactive software. But its incredibly cheap to make, and we can evaluateit by showing it to users and asking them questions about it.8SWE-312 : User Interface Design (Semester-112)University of HailEarly Prototypes Can Detect Usability ProblemsTo see this image, go tohttp://images.google.com/images?q=click+and+print+certificates+click.gif 9SWE-312 : User Interface Design (Semester-112)Remember this Hall of Shame candidate from last lecture? This dialogs design problemswould have been easy to catch if it were only tested as a simple paper sketch, in an earlyiteration of a spiral design. At that point, changing the design would have cost only anothersketch, instead of a days code.9SWE-312 : User Interface Design (Semester-112)University of HailIterative Design of User InterfacesEarly iterations use cheap prototypes Parallel design is feasible: build &amp; test multiple prototypes to explore design alternativesLater iterations use richer implementations, after UI risk has been mitigatedMore iterations generally means better UIOnly mature iterations are seen by the world10SWE-312 : User Interface Design (Semester-112)Why is the spiral model a good idea? Risk is greatest in the early iterations, when we knowthe least. So we put our least commitment into the early implementations. Early prototypesare made to be thrown away. If we find ourselves with several design alternatives, we canbuild multiple prototypes (parallel design) and evaluate them, without much expense.After we have evaluated and redesigned several times, we have (hopefully) learned enoughto avoid making a major UI design error. Then we actually implement the UI which is tosay, we build a prototype that we intend to keep. Then we evaluate it again, and refine itfurther.The more iterations we can make, the more refinements in the design are possible. Werehill-climbing here, not exploring the design space randomly. We keep the parts of thedesign that work, and redesign the parts that dont. So we should get a better design if wecan do more iterations.10SWE-312 : User Interface Design (Semester-112)University of HailUser-Centered DesignIterative designEarly focus on users and tasks user analysis: who the users are task analysis: what they need to do involving users as evaluators, consultants, and sometimes designersConstant evaluationUsers are involved in every iterationEvery prototype is evaluated somehow11SWE-312 : User Interface Design (Semester-112)Iterative design is a crucial part of user-centered design, the design process for userinterfaces that is widely accepted among UI practicioners. A variety of brand-name usercentereddesign techniques exist (e.g., GUIDE, STUDIO, OVID, LUCID). But most havethree features in common:- iterative design using rapid prototyping- early focus on users and tasks- evaluation throughout the iterative design process.11SWE-312 : User Interface Design (Semester-112)University of HailUser-Centered Design in SWE312</p> <p>12SWE-312 : User Interface Design (Semester-112)The term projects milestones are designed to follow a spiral model:1. task analysis (1 week): collecting the requirements for the UI, which well discuss in thesecond half of this lecture.2. design sketches (1 week): paper sketches of your UI design3. paper prototype (2 week): an interactive prototype made of paper and other cheapphysical materials4. in-class user testing (1 day): one day during the paper prototype assignment, well spendthe lecture using each others prototypes5. computer prototype (2 weeks): an interactive software prototype that you plan to throwaway6. heuristic evaluation (1 week): well exchange software prototypes and evaluate them asusability experts would7. implementation (3 weeks): youll build a real implementation that you plan to keep8. user testing (1 week): youll test your implementation against users and refine itNotice that the part you did in 6.170 step 7 is only one milestone in this class!12SWE-312 : User Interface Design (Semester-112)University of HailCase Study: Olympic Message System Cheap prototypes Scenarios User guides Simulation (Wizard of Oz) Prototyping tools (IBM Voice Toolkit)Iterative design 200 (!) iterations for user guideEvaluation at every stepYou are not the user Non-English speakers had trouble with alphabetic entry on telephone keypad13SWE-312 : User Interface Design (Semester-112)The Olympic Message System is a good demonstration of the effectiveness of user-centereddesign (Gould et al, The 1984 Olympic Message System, CACM, v30 n9, Sept 1987).The OMS designers used a variety of cheap prototypes: scenarios (stories envisioning a userinteracting with the system), manuals, and simulation (in which the experimenter read thesystems prompts aloud, and the user typed responses into a terminal). All of theseprototypes could be (and were) shown to users to solicit reactions and feedback.Iteration was pursued aggressively. The user guide went through 200 iterations!The OMS also has some interesting cases reinforcing the point that the designers cannotrely entirely on themselves for evaluating usability. Most prompts requested numeric input(press 1, 2, or 3), but some prompts needed alphabetic entry (enter your three-lettercountry code). Non-English speakers particularly from countries with non-Latinlanguages found this confusing, because, as one athlete reported in an early field test,you have to read the keys differently. The designers didnt remove the alphabeticprompts, but they did change the user guides examples to use only uppercase letters, justlike the telephone keys.13SWE-312 : User Interface Design (Semester-112)University of HailUser &amp; Task AnalysisFirst step of user-centered designUser analysis: who is the user?Task analysis: what does the user needto do?14SWE-312 : User Interface Design (Semester-112)Weve seen that UI design is iterative that we have to turn the crank several times toachieve good usability. How do we get started? How do we acquire information for theinitial design?The process of collecting information for the first design is called user and task analysis.In these steps, we ask who the users are, and what it is that theyre trying to accomplish.14SWE-312 : User Interface Design (Semester-112)University of HailKnow Thy UserIdentify characteristics of target userpopulation Age, gender, ethnicity Education Physical abilities General computer experience Skills (typing? reading?) Domain experience Application experience Work environment and other social context Relationships and communication patterns15SWE-312 : User Interface Design (Semester-112)The reason for user analysis is straightforward: since youre not the user, you need to findout who the user actually is.User analysis seems so obvious that its often skipped. But failing to do it explicitly makesit easier to fall into the trap of assuming every user is like you. Its better to do somethinking and collect some information first.Knowing about the user means not just their individual characteristics, but also theirsituation. In what environment will they use your software? What else might be distractingtheir attention? What is the social context? A movie theater, a quiet library, inside a car, onthe deck of an aircraft carrier; environment can place widely varying constraints on youruser interface.Other aspects of the users situation include their relationship to other users in theirorganization, and typical communication patterns. Can users ask each other for help, or arethey isolated? How do students relate differently to lab assistants, teaching assistants, andprofessors?15SWE-312 : User Interface Design (Semester-112)University of HailMultiple Classes of Users16SWE-312 : User Interface Design (Semester-112)Many applications have several kinds of usersExample: Olympic Message SystemAthletes Friends &amp; family Telephone operatorsSysadminsMany, if not most, applications have to worry about multiple classes of users. Do a useranalysis for every class.16SWE-312 : User Interface Design (Semester-112)University of HailHow To Do User AnalysisTechniques Questionnaires Interviews ObservationObstacles Developers and users may be systematically isolated from each otherTech support shields developers from usersMarketing shields users from developers Some users are expensive to talk toDoctors, executives, union members17SWE-312 : User Interface Design (Semester-112)The best way to do user analysis is to find some representative users and ask...</p>

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