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Flashcards in Q2 Deck (15):

A well designed interactive product adheres to the principles of good visibility and clear mappings.
There are two aspects to good visibility. Define each of these.

1. Any controls should be clearly visible so users can see what is available to them.

2. Visual feedback should also be available so that users know what has been done and achieved, and what needs to be done next.


There are two aspects to clear mappings. Define each of these

1. The relationship between controls and their effect on the world.

2. The clarity of the labeling, words or icons used in the mapping.


Taking an example from an interactive product with which you are familiar, describe an interface element with both good visibility and clear mappings.

My Sky TV remote, the buttons are placed logically and with wording that can be seen. Colours are also used to provide better clarity of use.


Define the usability goal learnability.

This refers to how easy a system or product is to learn to use.


Define the usability goal efficiency.

Is the way a product supports users in the carrying out of their tasks.


It is sometimes necessary to make a trade-off between usability goals. Describe a general situation where efficiency needs to be favoured over learnability. Give an example.

In a busy working environment users will not have the time - or inclination possibly – to take the time to learn how to do more complex tasks as they would say with a new MP3 player. In this situation efficiency will be favoured over learnability.


The Interaction Design lifecycle (Please have a look at Figure 16 on page 121 of Block 1)
A designer would pass along arrow 1 if, during the creation of a design, he or she realized that it’s necessary to understand the requirements more fully.

Explain under what circumstances a designer would pass along each of arrows 2, 3 and 4.

1 Having created a design, you may realise you need to understand the requirements more fully.
2 Having established the requirements, you have a sound basis to create a design.
3 Whilst evaluating a design with users, you identify additional requirements or you realise you need to modify existing requirements.
4 Having built an interactive prototype, you are able to evaluate the design.
5 Having evaluated a design with users, you realise you need to modify the design.
6. Having created the design, you are able to build the interactive prototype.
7. Whilst building an interactive prototype you realise you need to modify the design (often because it is incomplete)
8. Having evaluated the interactive prototype and found it to satisfy the requirements, the lifecycle is complete.


Who or what are Stakeholders?

Stakeholders are ‘people or organisations who will be affected by the system or have direct or indirect influence on the system requirements’ (Kotonya and Sommerville, 1998).


You are developing a supermarket checkout system. You want to identify the stakeholders in order to involve them in establishing the requirements. For each of the following three stakeholder groups, give one example of a type of stakeholder that would be in that group. For each type of stakeholder you identify
explain why they would be a member of this particular group.
- Beneficiaries
- Decision makers
- Workers

Beneficiaries are stakeholders who stand to benefit from the project, or whose life is going to be made easier.
- the people working at the checkout
- the shoppers

Decision makers decide what to do in the project.
- the developers
- design team
- managers of the project

Gatekeepers control access to other groups who are needed for the project, perhaps for a decision to be make, to establish requirements, check designs or perform evaluations.
- managers at the supermarket
- design managers of the supermarket checkout system

Workers are the stakeholders whose workload will be affected, often increased, because of the changes brought about by the project or by the extra work of learning a new process. A worker may also be someone whose role and hence job might disappear as a consequence of the project.
- programmers
- designers
- the people that work at the supermarket checkout


Define the usability goal: utility

It’s the way a product provides the right kind of functionality so that users can do what they need or want to do.


Why might it be necessary to make a trade-off between utility and efficiency when designing interaction?

If users need to carry out a wide range of tasks (utility), this could make carrying out some tasks more time consuming (reducing efficiency). For example, increasing utility might deepen a menu hierarchy, making it more time consuming to locate and select the necessary menu item.


Describe the main difference between usability goals and user experience goals.

Usability tends to focus upon those aspects of an interactive product traditionally related to work, such as productivity and effectiveness. It also tends to focus explicitly on the user interface. The six usability goals are: effectiveness, efficiency, safety, utility, learnability and memorability.

User experience is a relatively new term, whose precise meaning is yet to be agreed. However, it relates to a wider set of concerns than those of usability, including issues such as whether an interactive product is fun to use, aesthetically pleasing, and so on. There are many user experience goals; the ten user experience goals concentrated on are: satisfying, enjoyable, fun, entertaining, helpful, motivation, aesthetically pleasing, supportive of creativity, rewarding and emotionally fulfilling.


This module discusses three key characteristics of the interaction design process. One of these is that iteration is inevitable. Give the other two key characteristics.

1. Users should be involved throughout the development of the product or project.

2. Specific usability and user experience goals should be identified clearly, documented and agreed upon at the beginning of the project.


How does iteration in the process of interaction design help to establish requirements?

It is difficult to fully understand the users and their needs, without having first evaluated some designs with them.


How does iteration in the process of interaction design help to develop the design?

Typically no single design meets the needs of the user. Therefore you must explore different options, making compromises as you go. Each design is evaluated many times leading towards the best design that meets the needs.