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Fall 04 Midterm 2 Review: User Interface

What are some things to consider when developing a UI for K-12?
Pictures and color to grabs the attention of a K-12.

What are some things to consider when developing a UI for senior citizens?
Have bigger fonts. Less mouse interaction. Less eye-hand cordinations.

What are ways to test your user interface? Both before the users are involved and after?
Before users involvement, one can evaluate the UI in terms of a set of standard heuristics or stardard UI guidelines. Questions like: Is the cancel button always in the right place? Can the user figure out the current state? Is everything that the user needs to know about visible on the screen? Is help available? Are error messages adequate?

With user involvement, the most powerful technique to test the UI is to watch your user. If user repeatily generate an error message, take note on why the user is doing that. Another technqiue is think-aloud which encourage the user to say things out loud while she is performing the tasks. After user involvement, a questionnaire regarding the UI would be helpful to know what their experiences and opinions were on the software.

What is a cognitive walkthrough and when is it useful?
They "are formal methods of cognitive walkthroughs, but an informal description is to simply imagine being the user and walking through the interface to perform a task. The goal is to figure out if the system makes sense" (Guzdial 194).

What is wrong with the UI for the clock on page 187?
The buttons on the bottom draws too much attention since it is the least common activity for the clock.

What is a process that you could follow for developing a good user interface?
One process is the waterfall method which has stages: requirements specification, architectural design, detailed design, coding and unit testing, integration and testing, and operation and maintenance.

Another is iterative design and prototyping which "is to plan on repeating the process until a usability goal is reached" (Guzdial 191). The stages are: requirements gathering, build a prototype, evalute the prototype, and iterate.

~Quoc Tran

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