Chapter 9: User Interface Design
Terms in this set (55)
is the process of defining how the system will interact with external entities (e.g customers, suppliers, other systems)
user interface design
defines the way in which the users will interact with the system and the nature of the inputs and outputs that the system accepts and produces.
includes 3 fundamental parts:
1) navigation mechanism
2) input mechanism
3) output mechanism
goal is to make the interface pleasing to the eye and simple to use, while minimizing the effort users expend to accomplish the business of the organization
User Interface Design Process
1. Analysts examine the DFDs and use cases developed in the analysis phase and interview users to develop USE SCENARIO
2. Develop INTERFACE STRUCTURE DIAGRAM (ISD) to define basic structure of the interface
3. Design INTERFACE STANDARDS
4. Design INTERFACE DESIGN PROTOTYPE
5. The individual interfaces are subjected to INTERFACE EVALUATION
the way in which the user gives instructions to the system and tells it what to do (e.g. buttons, menus)
the way in which the system captures information (e.g. forms, for adding new customers)
the way in which the system provides information to the user or the other systems (e.g reports, Web pages)
human- computer interaction (HCI)
is the study that focuses on improving the interactions between users and computers by making computers more usable and receptive to the user's needs
the first principle of user interface design deals with the layout of the screen, form, or report
refers to organizing areas of the screen or document for different purposes and using those areas consistently throughout the user interface ex: a top area for commands and navigation, a middle area for information to be input or output, and a bottom area for status information
each of the areas within the report or forms is designed to hold different information and the flow between sections should also be consistent
second principle of user interface design that refers to the ability of an interface to make the user aware of the information it contais with the least amount of effort by the user; all parts of the interface (navigation, input, output) should as much content awareness as possible
applies to the interface in general; they should have titles, menus to show the user where they are and how they got there
applies to the area within forms and reports; should be clear and well-defined to reduce the chances that users become confused about the information in any area.
applies to the fields within each area; there should be no uncertainty about the format of information within the fields,whether for entry or display...they should provide explicit explanations where there is a probability of uncertainty or multiple interpretations
applies to the information that a form or report contains; all should contain a preparation date so that the age of the information is obvious and printed forms and software should provide version numbers so that users, analysts, and programmers can identify outdated materials
the individual elements of data that are input or output
identify the fields on the interface
third principle that refers to designing interfaces that are pleasing to the eye; all forms and reports need at least a minimum amount of white space that is intentionally left blank so that there isn't a lot of information presented which makes it unpleasant that users do not want to complete it
fourth principle that refers to designing the user interface with the user's level of computer experience in mind, should be designed for people with experience and people with no experience
the fifth principle that in design is probably the most important factor in making a system simple to use, because it enables users to predict what will happen
usually refers to the interface within one computer system, so that all parts of the same system work in the same way
minimize user effort
sixth principle refers to design the interface to minimize the amount of effort needed to accomplish tasks, which means using the fewest possible clicks or keystrokes to move from one part of the system to another
most interface designers follow the three-click rule: users should be able to go from the start or main menu of a system to the information or action they want in no more than three mouse clicks or three keystrokes
is an outline of the steps that the users perform to accomplish some part of their work
are developed by examining the DFDs and use cases developed in the analysis phase and interview the user
they describe users' commonly employed patterns of actions so that the interface can enable users to quickly and smoothly perform these scenarios
interface structure diagram (ISD)
defines the basic structure of the interface
shows all the interfaces (e.g. screens, forms, and reports) in the system and how they are connected
each box has a number at the top (usually they follow a tree-type structure) and a name in the middle, like a DFD but there are no commonly used rules or standards; they usually imply relationships between a menu and a submenu, where the lines denote the ability to navigate from one menu to another
are the basic design elements on which interfaces in the system are based
interface design prototype
is created for each of the individual interfaces in the system such as navigation controls, input screens, output screens, forms, and reports
is where individual interfaces are determined whether they are satisfactory and how they can be improved
- Define how the interface will work
- Concept from the real world that is used as a model for the computer system
- Helps the user to understand the system and be able to predict the features it may provide
- Defines the general appearance of all screens in the information system and the paper-based forms and reports that are used.
- Draws together the other major interface design elements: metaphors, objects, actions and icons.
- Is the fundamental building block of the system such as the entities and data stores.
- The template gives names to the most commonly used interface actions in the navigation design (e.g "buy" versus "purchases", "exit" versus "quit")
- The interface objects and actions and also their status may be represented by interface icons.
- Icons are pictures
- The simplest and best approach is to adopt icons developed by others (quick development and the icons may be already well understood )
- Tool tips: text that appear when the pointer hovers over an icon, explains the purpose of that icon.
Interface Design Prototyping
- Is a mock-up or simulation of a computer screen, form or report.
- There most common approaches to interface design prototyping are: storyboards, HTML prototypes, and languages prototypes
- Simplest form, is a paper-based storyboard.
- Fastest and least expensive, but provides the least amount of detail --> used for parts of the system in which the interface is well understood and when more expensive prototypes are thought to be unnecessary.
- Shows hand-drawn pictures of what the screen will look like and how they will flow from one screen to another.
- Requires paper, pen and someone with some artistic ability.
- One of the most common types
- Is built with the use of Web pages created in HTML
- The users can interact with the pages by clicking the buttons --> superior than storyboards.
- Is used for parts of the system that are critical, yet not well understood
- Disadvantage: the screen shown in HTML will never appear exactly like the real screens in the system
- Is built in the actual language or by the actual tool that will be used to build the system.
- Is the slowest, most expensive and most detailed approach --> is used for parts of the system that are critical, yet not well understood
- Is design in the same ways as HTML Prototype
- Takes longer to design than storyboard and HTML prototype.
- Advantage: showing exactly what the screen will look like.
- Examines the interface by comparing it to a set of heuristics, or principles, for interface design.
- Does not involve users --> weakest type
- Is a meeting conducted with the users who will ultimately have to operate the system.
- Can be used with storyboard, HTML or language prototype
- The users themselves actually work with the HTML or language prototype in one-on-one session with members of the project team
- Cannot be used with a storyboard
Formal Usability Testing
- Is commonly done with commercial software products.
- Is very formal, almost scientific.
- Used only with language prototype
- Is very expensive
- The goal is to make the system as simple as possible to use.
Basic Principle of Navigation Design
1. Prevent Mistakes
2. Simplify Recovery from mistakes
3. Use consistent grammar order
- Mistakes can be reduced by labeling commands and actions appropriately and by limiting choices.
- Too may choices can confuse the user
- Never display a command that cannot be used.
- It is important to confirm the critical function that is difficult and impossible to undo with the user
Simplify Recovery from mistakes
- The system should make it easy as possible to correct errors.
- Has an "Undo" button
Use Consistent Grammar Order
- The grammar order should be consistent throughout the system
Types of Navigation Controls
Three basic software approaches for defining user commands:
3. Direct manipulation
- Provides greater flexibility than do other approaches
- Disadvantage: put a greater burden on users because they must learn the syntax and type commands
- Is design to understand the user's own language
- The most common type of navigation system
- Present user with a list of choices
- Easier to learn than languages --> are usually preferred than languages
- It is better to make menu broad and shallow rather than narrow and deep
- The user enters commands by working directly with interface objects.
- Can be simple, but suffers from 2 problems:
1. Users familiar with language or menu-based interfaces don't always expect it.
2. Not all commands are intuitive
- Are the way in which the system responds to a user and informs him/her of the status of the interaction.
- Many types of messages: error messages, acknowledgement messages, delay messages, and help messages.
- Should be clear, concise, and complete, grammatically correct and free of jargon and abbreviations.
- Avoid negatives and humor
- Should require the user to acknowledge them
- In general, messages are text, but sometimes standard icons
- Means designing the screens used to enter the information, as well as any forms on which users write or type information.
- The goal is to capture accurate information
Use Online and Batch Processing Appropriately
Two general approaches for entering inputs into a computer screens
1. Online processing - or transaction processing:
- Each input item is entered into the system individually
- Is most commonly used when it is important to have real-time information about the business process.
2. Batch processing
- All the inputs collected over some period are gathered together and entered into the system at one time in a batch.
- Is used for transaction processing systems that do not require real-time information.
- Simplifies the data communications process and often cuts communication costs.
Capture Data at the Source
- Is the most important principle of input design
- Three problems with the manual system:
1. Expensive because it duplicates the work
2. Increase processing time
3. Increase the cost and probability of error
Source data automation
- Refers to using special hardware devices to automatically capture data without requiring anyone to type it.
- Bar code readers, optical character recognition, magnetic stripe readers, RFID (radio frequency identifiaction) tag
- Keystrokes cost time and money
- The frequent value should be used as default value.
Types of Inputs
1. Text: text box is used to enter text
2. Numbers: number box is used to enter numbers
3. Selection box: enable the users to a value from a predefined list.
Six commonly used of selection box:
a. Check boxes: multiple selections
b. Radio buttons: single selection
c. On-screen list boxes: screen spaces is limited and multiple items
d.. Drop-down list boxes: screen spaces is limited and only one item
e. Combo boxes
f. Scroll bars
Six different types of validation checks
1. Completeness check
2. Format check
3. Range check
4. Check digit check
5. Consistency check
6. Database check
- Every system should use at least one validation check
- Outputs are the report that the system produces
- The goal of output is to present information to users
Understand Report Usage
- Real-time reports provide data that are accurate to the second or minute at which they were produced. (if time is critical)
- Batch reports are those that report historical information.
Manage Information Load
- The goal is to provide all the information needed to support the task for which it was designed.
- The most important information generally should be presented first, in the top left corner of the screen/paper report.
- The problem with bias is that it can be very subtle, analysts can introduce it unintentionally.
- Graphic displays and reports can present particularly challenging design issues
Types of Outputs
- Detailed reports, summary reports, exception reports, turnaround documents, and graphs
- Paper: more traditional, relatively permanent, easy to use and accessible in most situations, highly portable
* Drawbacks: inflexible, expensive, hard to duplicate, and require considerable supplies and storage space. Hard to quickly move
- Electronic: easily access, cost is minimal, reduce cost of electronic delivery over distance.
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