Task-Centered User Interface Design: An Introduction.

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Task-Centered User Interface Design: An Introduction

Task-Centered User Interface Design: An Introduction

Hall of Shame: AC RemoteGiant button in the middle affords pushing, but its not actually a buttonButtons are similarly shaped, do different things. Bad visibility.Button layout could be improved (fan buttons grouped together, fan arrows unnecessary, etc)

Hall of ShameAshley Perkins

Ceiling FanCurrent Solutions

User Visit Plans Due FridayWritten, but informalspecific goals, approaches, people, dates, and timesgeneral script indicating who will ask or observe what in what sequence what types of notes you will take (do you need note-taking forms?)GradeHow clearly you have thought through what you need to learn from the visits and how youll gather this knowledgeExerciseConsider the general task of votingA voter chooses one (or more) candidate from a set of candidates for a particular officeIn a given election, voters may have to make choices for multiple officesExercise Part 1Consider usersWho are they?What are relevant user characteristics?Result write personas describing two usersSome example usersVoterPoll workerVote counterParty official / candidate representativeTCUID PrinciplesThe interface should be tailored to the users and their tasks

The development process should use the users tasks throughout design and evaluationSystem-Centered DesignWhat I find interesting or cool to work onWhats easy to do using: html, Visual Basic, Java Swing, or whateverYou may think your idea for a new system is so wonderful that everyone will want it, though you cant think of a really specific example, and that it will be useful in some way to people, even though you cant say how. But history suggests that you will be wrong. (Lewis and Rieman, Chapter 2)Instead: User-Centered System DesignBase design on real people:AbilitiesNeedsWork contextTasks they are trying to accomplish

Golden Rule of UI Design:Know Thy UserUser-Centered System DesignThe design process is a collaboration between designers and customersThe design evolves and adapts to their changing concernsDesigner and customer are in constant communication throughout the processKey Components of TCUIDPhase 1 Identification/definitionUsers and tasks figure out whos going to use the system for whatCreate specific scenariosPhase 2 DesignSelect tasks to supportCreate designs (mockups first, then prototypes) to support these tasksPhase 3 EvaluationWalk through tasks to test the designTest with usersWhat well cover todayiterate as necessaryWho are the users?You need to identify real people who will (at least potentially) use your systemif you cant find users, youre in trouble!everyone is not a userthe designer is not a good userthe VP is rarely the userpurchasing is rarely the userAnd you sure arent the user!Why you dont count as a userYou almost certainly arent typicalYoure too technically savvyYou dont care (just) about the taskIts cheatingRemember: Design model System Image Users ModelBut you know the Design Model, so you cant test whether the System Image leads users to form an appropriate modelSpend time with usersGo talk with the usersAre they too busy?Then how will they have time to evaluate/use it?Are there good surrogate users?Observe the user at workContent what theyre trying to accomplishContext physical workplace, organizational setting, etc.Talking with usersWhat do they know?systems, skills, etc.What do they do?tasksHow do they do it now?scenariosWhat do they want to do?new tasksUsers arent perfect eitherUsers arent all-knowingThey may have a very narrow viewThey may not be able to articulate what they do and what they knowThey may not envision possible new ways of doing thingsThey arent designersYou must learn about the tasks from the users Then use your design skills to create a designFinally, get user feedback on the design/prototypeTasksA detailed description of a complete job that specific users want to accomplishDoesnt specify how they would do the job separate the What from the How; concentrate on the WhatMust specify typical detailsComplete jobNot just feature listsCover transitions between sub-tasks, so you have to consider how different components work togetherSpecify inputs/outputs where does information come from, where does it go?Sample Task - PoorThe user selects the stories that will be in the news section of the website.Sample Task - BetterThe user selects from a collection of stories the stories that will be in the news section of the website. The user has the ability to edit the list including ordering, and adding/removing incorrect stories.Sample Task - DetailedRita Neus, the on-line production coordinator for the paper sits down at 1:30 AM before going home for the night, and Selects the stories stokeef.xy, stguns.xy, stvet.xy, stwres.xy, stcomp.sy (in that order) for the news section of the website.She decides that stvet.xy should be the lead storyShe realizes that stwres.xy is actually a sports story and moves it to that department.Sample Task - PoorThe user sets up a schedule for a guest visitor and makes it available for others.Sample Task - BetterThe user sets up a schedule for a guest visitor. This schedule includes 4 or 5 template events (some fixed time and some variable time). The schedule is announced so that others can sign up.Sample Task - DetailedDr. Schafer, head of the search committee, is in charge of setting up the schedule for the campus visit of a job candidate (Sal Lammy) on February 7th. He schedules time to take the candidate to lunch, and dinner. 3:30-4:30 PM for the candidates research talk.4:30-5:30 for the wine and cheese reception.A 90-minute block for a campus tour which ends with a meeting with the Dean (check with the Dean on availability).He contacts the other members of the department and allows them to schedule 30 minute meetings with the candidate for any time slot not yet taken and to join meals.Why Tasks?Tasks are fundamental to TCUIDrepresent who actually uses the systemset goals for system functionalitybasis for system designThomas: Lets add this cool new feature!!!Sharon: Why? Which task does it support?basis for comparative evaluation of different design alternativesbasis for user testingDefining TasksConcentrate on frequent and infrequent-but-important tasks3-5 general-purpose tasks for a very simple systemSeparate tasks for special-purpose cases (maintenance, installation)10+ tasks for complex systemsDepth/quality more important than number of tasksExerciseConsider the general task of votingA voter chooses one (or more) candidate from a set of candidates for a particular officeIn a given election, voters may have to make choices for multiple officesExercise Part 1Consider usersWho are they?What are relevant user characteristics?Result write personas describing two usersSome example usersVoterPoll workerVote counterParty official / candidate representativeExercise Part 2Now consider tasksWrite 2 task descriptionsWho are the users?What are they trying to do?Next StepsFor next time (next week)Continue discussion of the task-centered user interface design processSpend some time talking about the UIDP readingsProjectFriday will be our first official studioProject ProposalSite Visit Plan

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