Design Principles Flashcards Preview

Interactive Information Systems > Design Principles > Flashcards

Flashcards in Design Principles Deck (25):


Accessibility is defined as the extent to which an individual perceives that any particular source is available for use. (Zimmer et al. 2007)

Access to physical spaces for people with disabilities has long been an important legal and ethical requirement and this is now becoming increasingly so for information spaces and interactive information systems.


Why people are excluded from Interactive IS

people can be excluded because of inappropriate siting of equipment or through input and output devices making excessive demands on their abilities.

people may be excluded because they cannot understand complicated instructions or obscure commands or they cannot form a clear mental model of the system.

people are excluded if they cannot afford some essential technology.

Cultural exclusion
results from designers making inappropriate assumptions about how people work and organize their lives.

Social exclusion
can occur if equipment is unavailable at an appropriate time and place or if people are not members of a particular social group and cannot understand particular social mores or messages.


Inclusive Design

Inclusive design is a more pragmatic approach that argues that there will often be reasons (e.g. technical or financial) why total inclusion is unattainable.

We all suffer from disabilities from time to time (e.g., a broken arm) that affect our abilities to use interactive information systems.

As a way of ensuring an accessible system, designers should:
■ include people with special needs in requirements analysis and testing of existing systems;
■ consider whether new features affect users with special needs (positively or negatively) and note this in the specification;
■ take account of guidelines – include evaluation against guidelines;
■ include special needs users in usability testing and beta tests.

Inclusivity analysis
■ Ensures that inadvertent exclusion will be minimized
■ Enables the identification of common characteristics that cause exclusion and which are
relatively cheap to fix.

Stability (fixed vs changing)
Incidence (common vs rare)
Solution (cheap/easy vs expensive/difficult)



Usability is defined as the extent to which a system, product or service can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction in a specified context of use. (ISO, 2018)

A system with a high degree of usability will have the following characteristics:
■ Efficient in that people will be able to do things using an appropriate amount of effort.
■ Effective in that it contains the appropriate functions and information content, organized in an appropriate manner.
■ Easy to learn how to do things and remember how to do them after a while.
■ Safe to operate in the variety of contexts in which it will be used.
■ High utility in that it does the things that people want to get done.


System Usability Scale

The System Usability Scale (SUS) provides a “quick and dirty”, reliable tool for measuring the usability.

■ Originally created by John Brooke in 1986
■ Allows to evaluate a wide variety of products and services (incl. hardware, software, mobile devices, websites, applications)
■ Consists of 10 item questionnaire with five response options for respondents (5-Point-Likert scale ranging from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree”)

Calculating and interpretation:
Each item's score ranges from 0 to 4.
■ For items 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 (the positively worded items) the score contribution is the scale position minus 1.
■ For items 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 (the negatively worded items), the contribution is 5 minus the scale position.
■ You then multiply the sum of the scores by 2.5 to obtain the overall value of SUS.
Though the scores are 0-100, these are not percentages and should be considered only in terms of their percentile ranking.
Based on research, a SUS score above a 68 would be considered above average and anything below 68 is below average, however the best way to interpret your results involves “normalizing” the scores to produce a percentile ranking.

* SUS is reliable. Users respond consistently to the scale items, and SUS has been shown to detect differences at smaller sample sizes than other questionnaires.
* SUS is valid. That is, it measures what it purports to measure. SUS is not diagnostic. That is, it does not tell you what makes a system usable or not.
* SUS scores are not percentages, despite returning a value between0 and 100. To understand how your product compares to others, you need to look at its percentile ranking.
* SUS measures both learnability and usability.
* SUS scores have a modest correlation with task performance, but it is not surprising that people’s subjective assessments may not be consistent with whether or not they were successful using a system. Subjective assessments of usability are only one component of the overall construct of usability.



Acceptability is about fitting technologies into people’s lives and defines the quality of something to be accepted. (Oxford Dictionary)

An essential difference between usability and acceptability is that acceptability can only be understood in the context of use.


Key Features of Acceptability

Is the design politically acceptable? Do people trust it?

Designs that are awkward or that force people to do things may prove unacceptable. Designs should fit effortlessly into the situation.

Cultural and social habits.
If political acceptability is concerned with power structures and principles, cultural and social habits are concerned with the way people like to live.

This goes beyond the notions of efficiency and effectiveness and concerns usefulness in context.

There are many economic issues that render some technology acceptable or not. Price is the obvious one and whether the technology offers value for money.


Principles of Universal Design

Equitable Use: The design does not disadvantage or stigmatize any group of users.

Flexibility in Use: The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities.

Simple, Intuitive Use: Use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the user’s experience, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level.

Perceptible Information: The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user’s sensory abilities.

Tolerance for Error: The design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions.

Low Physical Effort: The design can be used efficiently and comfortably, and with a minimum of fatigue.

Size and Space for Approach and Use: Appropriate size and space are provided for approach, reach, manipulation, and use, regardless of the user’s body size, posture, or mobility.


Visual Interface Design

Interface Design is about creating an experience that enables people to make the best use of the system being designed. (Benyon 2014)


Graphical User Interface (GUI) - WIMP

WIMP - windows, icons, menus and pointers

Window is a means of sharing a device‘s graphical display resources among multiple applications at the same time.

Icon is an image or a symbol used to represent a file, folder, application or device (metaphor, direct mapping, convention).

Menu is a list of commands or options from which one can choose.

Pointing device of which the mouse is most widespread, but fingers are also used as is the stylus.


Guidelines from perception

Use proximity to organize buttons
Use continuity to connect disconnected elements
Use similarity to organize files
Use closure as closed objects are easier to perceive than those are open.


Guidelines with colors

Use a maximum of five, plus or minus two, colors.

Use foveal (center) and peripheral colors appropriately.

Use colors that exhibit a minimum shift in color/size if the colors change in size in the imagery.

Do not use high-chroma, spectrally extreme colors simultaneously.

Use familiar, consistent color codings with appropriate references.

Use the same color for grouping related elements.

Use the same color code for applications, training, testing, and publications.

Use high value, high saturation colors to draw attention.

If possible, use redundant coding of shape as well as color.

Use color to enhance black-and-white information.


Guidelines for Error Message Design

* Take care with the wording and presentation of alerts and error messages
* Avoid using threatening or alarming language in messages (e.g., fatal error)
* Do not use double negatives as they can be ambiguous
* Use specific, constructive words in error messages (e.g., use ‘please enter your name’ rather than ‘invalid entry’)
* Make the system ‘take the blame’ for errors
* DO NOT USE ALL UPPERCASE LETTERS as it looks as if you are shouting Use attention-grabbing techniques cautiously (e.g., avoid over-using ‘blinks’)
* Do not use more than four different font sizes per screen
* Do not over-use audio or video
* Use colors appropriately and make use of expectations (e.g., red = danger)


Navigation Design

1. Labelling
■ Labels are used for internal and external links, headings, titles, etc.
■ Iconic labels can be very useful if context and design are clear
■ Clear and unambiguous preferred vocabulary is necessary

2. Navigation Support
■ Global navigation bar = across the top of a site that points to the main, top-level categories
■ Local navigation bar = for sub-categories (on the left-hand side or as drop down menu)
■ “You-are-here” sign = important feature to support navigation (e.g., using breadcrumbs, highlighting current page)

3. Searching Mechanisms
Two main problems with searching (e.g. on a website)
■ Knowing exactly what sort of documents the search engine is searching
■ How to express combinations of search criteria: Search engines are based on Boolean logic (searching for information on “cats and dogs")

Many aspects of physical world are relatively static, the world of information content is not. Thus, navigation is central to the development of any information space.


Visual Perception

Visual Perception is concerned with extracting meaning (and hence recognition and understanding) from the light falling on our eyes. Vision is concerned with such things as detecting color, shape and the edges of objects. (Benyon 2014)


Designing for Navigation

Navigation Design aims to encourage people to develop a good understanding of the space in terms of landmark, route and survey knowledge. (Benyon 2014)

Main features of good navigation design:
■ Signage: helping people in getting their desired destination and make them aware of alternative options

■ Maps and guides: maps supplemented with additional information become guides

■ Social navigation: personalized information and additional cues


Human Decision-Making – IDC Model

The Intelligence-Decision-Choice (IDC) Model was developed by Herbert Simon and describes the three phases of human decision-making

1. Intelligence:
Information acquisition & problem understanding
The problem hast to be identified and information has to be collected

2. Design
Criteria identification, decision model & investigation of alternatives
Possible solutions for the problem are developed
Involves research on available options

3. Choice
Selection of an alternative
The derived alternatives are ultimately evaluated and one is selected


Bounded Rationality

Bounded Rationality describes the theory that rationality of human decision-making is restricted with regard to information, individual cognitive capacity limitations and time to make the decision. (Simon, 1997)



Heuristics are simple, efficient rules which people often use to form judgments and make decisions in order to reduce experienced mental effort. They are highly economical and usually effective mental shortcuts, but they can lead to severe and systematic errors. (Kahnemann and Tversky, 1975)

Cognitive biases are human decision- making errors that result from the application of heuristics


Human Decision-Making errors

* Anchoring Trap: Bias from using a reference point
* Status-Quo Trap: Desire to maintain current conditions
* Sunk -Cost Trap: Perpetuating a decision path based on past investment
* Confirming evidence trap: Looking for evidence to support a decision that has already been made and discounting contradictory information
* Framing trap: bias from posing a decision in terms of risk and emotion
* Estimation and Forecasting trap: bias from overconfidence inability to predict


User Assistance

User Assistance is an umbrella term for systems or system features that provide explanatory information to the user for the IT capabilities at hand. This helps users to perform tasks better. Today almost every tool integrates assistance systems that are more or less “intelligent”. (Maedche, et al., 2016)


User Assistance Systems

User Assistance Systems can be classified along two dimensions:
■ Degree of intelligence
■ Degree of interaction

Basic User Assistance Systems:
low interaction, low intelligence

Advanced User Assistance Systems:
intelligent or interactive or both
Seamlessly connected or fully integrated with IS
Provide context-aware assistance to user while performing a specific task
Proactive assistance, but user decides whether to follow the given assistance (no full automation)
Adapt capabilities regarding assistance behavior Sense users’ needs during assistance provision
three types:
- supporting - cooperating - informing


types of user assistance

* Traditional help and support systems (FAQs, User Manuals, Guides, Tutorials)

* Expert Systems and Decision Support Systems

*Recommender systems


Taxonomy of User Assistance Features

Target: What is the aim of the assistance?
 Supporting the users with choosing between systems (“Choosing”)
 Supporting the users with actual system usage (“Using”)

Directivity: What form of assistance is offered to the user?
 Judgmental recommendations (“Suggestive”)
 Information from which user can directly infer recommendation but without giving clear recommendation (“Quasi-suggestive”)
 Information that supports users’ judgement without clear suggestions on how to act (“Informative”)

Mode: How is the assistance generated?
 Prepared by system designer (“Predefined”)
 Adaptively with system use (“Dynamic”)
 Users participate in assistance provision (“Participative”)

Invocation: How is the assistance provided?
 Actively by the system and based on predefined events (“Automatic”)
 On demand of the user (“User-invoked”)
 The system monitors the user and adapts assistance invocation (“Intelligent”)

Timing: When is the assistance provided?
 During the task/activity (“Concurrent”)
 Before the task/activity (“Prospective”)
 After the task/activity (“Retrospective”)

Format: How is the assistance presented to the user?  Primarily in written words (“Text-based”)
 The use of pictures and depictions (“Images”)
 The use of videos and moving pictures (“Animation”)  The use of speech and verbal instructions (“Audio”)

Intention: What does the assistance do?
 Illuminate perceived anomalies (“Clarification”)
 Provide addition information (“Knowledge”)
 Support learning and training (“Learning”)
 Suggest certain decisions or activities (“Recommending”)

Content Type: What does the assistance provide to the user?
 A line of reasoning (“Trace”)
 Outline of reasoning with additional line of argumentation (“Justification”)  Evidence for a successful strategy (“Control”)
 Expert knowledge on concepts (“Terminological”)

Audience: Which types of users are addressed?
 Users with no or only limited knowledge and expertise of the domain of interest
 Users with a (high) amount of knowledge and expertise of the domain of interest (“Experts”)

Trust-Building: How does the assistance affect users’ trust?  Purposefully (“Proactive”)
 Not deliberately (“Passive”)


Effects of User Assistance

User assistance should be designed with the aim of improving the output variables on the user side

User assistance has be found to
 Increase users’ performance
 Decrease users’ time on task execution
 Support users’ learning
 Increase users’ trust
 Increase users’ adoption and use behavior
 Decrease users’ mental effort