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Solved User Interface Design IT2024 ND2012 7th Semester Question Paper

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PART – A (10 X 2 = 20 Marks)

1)    State the Characteristics Direct Manipulation.
a.    The system is portrayed as an extension of the real world
b.    Continuous visibility of objects and actions:
c.    Actions are rapid and incremental with visible display of results
d.    Incremental actions are easily reversible:

2)    List any four Graphical system disadvantages.
a.    Greater design complexity
b.    Learning still necessary
c.    Lack of experimentally-derived design guidelines
d.    Inconsistencies in technique and terminology

3)    State the five Design Commandments.
•    The complexity of a graphical or Web interface will always magnify any problems that do occur. Pitfalls  can be eliminated if the following design commandments
remain foremost in the designer’s mind.
•    Gain a complete understanding of users and their tasks: The users are the customers.
Today, people expect a level of design sophistication from all interfaces, including Web sites. The product, system or Web site must be geared to people’s needs, not those of the developers.
•    Solicit early and ongoing user involvement: Involving the users in design from the beginning provides a direct conduit to the knowledge they possess about jobs, tasks, and needs. Involvement also allows the developer to confront a person’s resistance to
change, a common human trait. People dislike change for a variety of reasons, among them fear of the unknown and lack of identification with the system.
•    Perform rapid prototyping and testing: Prototyping and testing the product will quickly identify problems and allow you to develop solutions. Prototyping and testing must be continually performed during all stages of development to uncover all potential defects. If thorough testing is not performed before product release, the testing will occur in the user’s office. Encountering a series of problems early in system use will create a negative first impression in the customer’s mind, and this may harden quickly, creating attitudes that may be difficult to change. It is also much harder and more costly to fix a product after its release.
•    Modify and iterate the design as much as necessary: While design will proceed through a series of stages, problems detected in one stage may force the developer to revisit a previous stage.. Establish user performance and acceptance criteria and continue testing and modifying until all design goals are met.
•    Integrate the design of all the system components: The software, the documentation, the help function, and training needs are all important elements of a graphical system or Web site and all should be developed concurrently. Time will also exist for design trade-offs to be thought out more carefully.

4)    Write the Merits of Casecade Menus.
The advantages of cascading menus are that:
a.    The top-level menus are simplified because some choices are hidden.
b.    More   first-letter   mnemonics   are   available   because   menus   possess   fewer alternatives.
c.    High-level command browsing is easier because subtopics are hidden.

5)    What are the types of Presentation Styles?
•    There are two basic styles, commonly called tiled or overlapping.
Tiled Windows
•    Tiled windows derive their name from common floor or wall tile. Tiled windows appear in one plane on the screen and expand or contract to fill up the display surface, as needed.
•    Most systems provide two-dimensional tiled windows, adjustable in both height and width.
Overlapping Windows
•    Overlapping windows may be placed on top of one another like papers on a desk.
•    They possess a three-dimensional quality, appearing to lie on different planes.

6)    What are the Merits of Track ball?
•    Advantages:
    Direct  relationship  between  hand  and  pointer  movement  in  terms  of direction and speed.
    Does not obscure vision of screen.
    Does not require additional desk space (if mounted on keyboard).

7)    State the Categories of Users.
•    Users of the earliest computer systems were mandatory or nondiscretionary.
That  is,  they required  the  computer  to  perform  a  task  that,  for  all  practical purposes, could be performed no other way.
•    This newer kind of user is the office executive, manager, or other professional, whose computer use is completely discretionary.

8)    State different Categories of Messages.

•    System messages
•    Status messages.
•    Informational messages
•    Warning messages
•    Critical messages.
•    Question messages

9)    What are the advantages of walkthrough?

•    Allow a clear evaluation of the task flow early in the design process.
•    Do not require a functioning prototype.
•    Low cost.
•    Can be used to evaluate alternate solutions.
•    Can be performed by developers.
•    More structured than a heuristic evaluation.
•    Useful for assessing “exploratory learning.”

10)    Define Visualization.•    Visualization is any technique for creating images, diagrams, or animations to communicate a message.
•    Visualization through visual imagery has been an effective way to communicate both abstract and concrete ideas since the dawn of man.

PART B (5 x 16 = 80 marks)

11)    a) Compare the Characteristics of graphical and web user interface.    (16)

Characteristics    GUI(Graphical)    WEB
Devices    User    hardware    variations
User    hardware
characteristics well defined Screens  appear  exactly  as specified.    User   hardware   variations
Screen appearance influenced by hardware being used.
User Focus    Data and applications.    Information and navigation.
Data    Typically created and used
by known and trusted    Full of unknown content.
Information    Sources are trusted.
Properties generally known. Typically placed into system by users or known people and organizations.    Source not always trusted.
Often  not  placed  onto  the Web  by  users  or  known people and organizations. Highly    variable organization.
User Tasks    Install,                  configure,
personalize, start, use, and Open, use, and close data files.
Familiarity with applications often achieved.    Link  to  a  site,  browse  or
read pages, fill out forms, upgrade programs. register for services, participate in transactions, download and save things.
Familiarity with many sites

        not established.
Presentation    Windows, menus, controls,
data, toolbars
Presented as specified by designer.
Generally standardized by toolkits and style specifications.
guides.    Two  components,  browser
and page
Within page, any combination of text, images, audio, video, and animation.
May not be presented as specified by the designer—

dependent on browser, monitor, and user
Little standardization.
Navigation    Through menus, lists, trees,
dialogs, and wizards.    Through  links,  bookmarks,
and typed URLs.
Interaction    Interactions such as clicking
menu choices, pressing buttons, selecting list choices, and cut/copy/paste occur within context of active program.    Basic interaction is a single
click. This can cause extreme changes in context, which may not be noticed.
Response Time    Nearly instantaneous    Quite   variable,   depending
on transmission speeds, page content, and so on. Long times can upset the user.
System Capability    Unlimited             capability
proportional to sophistication of hardware and
software.    Limited     by     constraints
imposed by the hardware, browser, software, client support, and user willingness to allow features because  of response time, security, and privacy concerns.
Task Efficiency    Targeted    to    a    specific
audience    with    specific tasks.
Only limited by the amount of programming undertaken    Limited   by   browser   and
network capabilities.
Actual user  audience usually not well understood. Often  intended  for  anyone

    to support it.    and everyone.
Consistency    Major    objective    exists
within    and    across applications.
Aided  by  platform  toolkit and design guidelines. Universal    consistency    in GUI products generally    Sites tend to establish their
own identity.
Frequently standards set within a site.
Frequent ignoring of GUI guidelines for identical created through toolkits and design                 guidelines.
components, especially controls.
User Assistance    Integral    part    of    most
systems and applications. Documentation, both online and offline,
Customer service support, if provided, usually provided. Personal  support desk  also usually provided.    No similar help systems.
Accessed through standard mechanisms.
The little available help is built into the page oriented to product or service offered.
Integration    Seamless integration of  all
applications into the platform environment is a major objective.    Apparent   for   some   basic
within most Web sites (navigation,
printing, and so on.) in accomplishing  this objective
Sites tend to achieve individual distinction rather than integration.
Security    Tightly                controlled,
proportional to degree of willingness to invest resources and effort.
Not an issue for most home PC users.    Renowned     for     security
Browser-provided security options typically understood by average users. When employed, may have function-limiting side effects
Reliability    Tightly    controlled    in
business systems,    Susceptible   to   disruptions
caused by user, telephone proportional to degree of willingness line and cable providers, Internet service providers, to invest resources and effort. hosting

        servers,    and    remotely
accessed sites.
b)    Discuss  the advantages and drawbacks of graphical systems in detail. (16)

Graphical system advantages

The success of graphical systems has been attributed to a host of factors. The following have been commonly referenced in literature and endorsed by their advocates as advantages of these systems.

•    Symbols recognized faster than text: symbols can be recognized faster and more accurately than text. An example of a good classification scheme that speeds up recognition is the icons. These icons allow speedy recognition of the type of message being presented.
•    Faster learning: a graphical, pictorial representation aids learning, and symbols can also be easily learned.
•    Faster use and problem solving: Visual or spatial representation of information has been found to be easier to retain and manipulate and leads to faster and more successful problem solving.
•    Easier remembering: Because of greater simplicity, it is easier for casual users to retain operational concepts.
•    More natural: symbolic displays are more natural and advantageous because the human mind has a powerful image memory.
•    Fewer errors: Reversibility of actions reduces error rates because it is always possible to undo the last step. Error messages are less frequently needed.
•    Increased feeling of control: The user initiates actions and feels in control. This increases user confidence
•    Immediate feedback: The results of actions furthering user goals can be seen immediately. If the response is not in the desired direction, the direction can be changed quickly.
•    Predictable system responses: Predictable system responses also speed learning.
•    Easily reversible actions: This ability to reverse unwanted actions also increases user confidence
•    More attractive: Direct-manipulation systems are more entertaining, cleverer, and more appealing.
•    May consume less space: Icons may take up less space than the equivalent in words but this is not the case always.
•    Replaces national languages: Icons possess much more universality than text and are much more easily comprehended worldwide.

•    Easily augmented with text displays: Where graphical design limitations exist, direct- manipulation systems can easily be augmented with text displays. The reverse is not true.
•    Low typing requirements: Pointing and selection controls, such as the mouse or trackball, eliminate the need for typing skills.Graphical system Drawbacks.

The body of positive research, hypotheses, and comment concerning graphical systems is being challenged by some studies, findings, and opinions that indicate that graphical representation and interaction may not necessarily always be better. Indeed, in some cases, it may be poorer than pure textual or alphanumeric displays. Sometimes arcane, and even bizarre. Among the disadvantages put forth are these:

•    Greater design complexity: Controls and basic alternatives must be chosen from a pile of choices numbering in excess of 50. This design potential may not necessarily result in better design unless proper controls and windows are selected. Poor design can undermine acceptance.
•    Learning still necessary: The first time one encounters many graphical systems, what to do is not immediately obvious. A severe learning and remembering requirement is imposed on many users because meanings of icons or using pointing device have to be learned.
•    Lack of experimentally-derived design guidelines: today there is a lack of widely available experimentally-derived design guidelines. Earlier only few studies to aid in making design decisions were performed and available for today now. Consequently, there is too little understanding of how most design aspects relate to productivity and satisfaction.
•    Inconsistencies in technique and terminology: Many differences in technique, terminology, and look and feel exist among various graphical system providers, and even among successive versions of the same system. So the user has to learn or relearn again while shifting to next terminology.
•    Not always familiar: Symbolic representations may not be as familiar as words or numbers. Numeric symbols elicit faster responses than graphic symbols in a visual search task.
•    Window manipulation requirements: Window handling and manipulation times are still excessive and repetitive. This wastes time
•    Production limitations: The number of symbols that can be clearly produced using today’s technology is still limited. A body of recognizable symbols must be produced that are  equally  legible  and  equally  recognizable  using  differing  technologies.  This  is
extremely difficult today.
•    Few tested icons exist: Icons must be researched, designed, tested, and then introduced into the marketplace. The consequences of poor or improper design will be confusion and lower productivity for users.
•    Inefficient for touch typists: For an experienced touch typist, the keyboard is a very fast and powerful device.

•    Not always the preferred style of interaction:    Not all users prefer a pure iconic interface. User will also prefer alternatives with textual captions.
•    Not always fastest style of interaction: graphic instructions on an automated bank teller machine were inferior to textual instructions.
•    May consume more screen space: Not all applications will consume less screen space.
A listing of names and telephone numbers in a textual format will be more efficient to scan than a card file.
•    Hardware  limitations:  Good  design  also  requires  hardware  of  adequate  power, processing speed, screen resolution, and graphic capability.

12)    A) Elaborate on the techniques used for requirements analysis. (16)

Requirements Analysis
•    The objective of this phase is to establish the need for a system. A requirement is an objective that must be met.
•    A product description is developed and refined, based on input from users or marketing.
There are many techniques for capturing information for determining requirements.



•    The significant advantage of the direct methods is the opportunity they provide to hear the user’s comments in person and firsthand.
•    Person-to-person encounters permit multiple channels of communication (body language, voice inflections, and so on) and provide the opportunity to immediately follow up on vague or incomplete data.

Here are some recommended direct methods for getting input from users.Individual Face-to-Face Interview•    A one-on-one visit with the user to obtain information. It may be structured or somewhat open-ended.
•    A formal questionnaire should not be used, however. Useful topics to ask the user to describe in an interview include:
•    The activities performed in completing a task or achieving a goal or objective.
•    The methods used to perform an activity.
•    What interactions exist with other people or systems?
•    It is also very useful to also uncover any:
o    Potential measures of system usability
o    Unmentioned exceptions to standard policies or procedures.
o    Relevant knowledge the user must possess to perform the activity.

•    Advantages
o    Advantages of a personal interview are that you can give the user your full attention, can easily include follow-up questions to gain additional information, will  have  more  time  to  discuss  topics  in  detail,  and  will  derive  a  deeper
understanding of your users, their experiences, attitudes, beliefs, and desires.
•    Disadvantages
o    Disadvantages of interviews are that they can be costly and time-consuming to conduct, and someone skilled in interviewing techniques should perform them.

Telephone Interview or Survey

•    A structured interview conducted via telephone.
•    Advantages
o    Arranging the interview in advance allows the user to prepare for it.
o    Telephone  interviews  are  less  expensive  and  less  invasive  than  personal
o    They can be used much more frequently and are extremely effective for very specific information.
•    Disadvantage
o    It is impossible to gather contextual information, such as a description of the working  environment,  replies  may  be  easily  influenced  by  the  interviewer’s
comments, and body language cues are missing.
o    Also, it may be difficult to contact the right person for the telephone interview.

Traditional Focus Group

•    A  small  group  of  users  and  a  moderator  brought  together  to  verbally  discuss  the requirements.
•    The purpose of a focus group is to  probe user’s experiences, attitudes, beliefs, and desires, and to obtain their reactions to ideas or prototypes
•    Setting up focus group involves the following:
o    Establish the objectives of the session.
o    Select participants representing typical users, or potential users.
o    Write a script for the moderator to follow.
o    Find a skilled moderator to facilitate discussion, to ensure that the discussion
remains focused on relevant topics, and to ensure that everyone participates.
o    Allow the moderator flexibility in using the script.
o    Take good notes, using the session recording for backup and clarification

Facilitated Team Workshop

•    A facilitated, structured workshop held with users to obtain requirements information.
Similar to the traditional Focus Group
•    Like focus groups, they do require a great deal of time to organize and run.

Observational Field Study

•    Users are observed and monitored for an extended time to learn what they do.
•    Observation provides good insight into tasks being performed, the working environment and conditions, the social environment, and working practices
•    Observation, however, can be time-consuming and expensive.
•    Video recording of the observation sessions will permit detailed task analysis.

Requirements Prototyping

•    A  demo,  or  very  early  prototype,  is  presented  to  users  for  comments  concerning functionality.

User-Interface Prototyping

•    A demo, or early prototype, is presented to users to uncover user-interface issues and problems

Usability Laboratory Testing

•    Users at work are observed, evaluated, and measured in a specially constructed laboratory to establish the usability of the product at that point in time.
•    Usability tests uncover what people actually do, not what they think they do a common problem with verbal descriptions
•    The same scenarios can be presented to multiple users, providing comparative data from several users.

Card Sorting for Web Sites

•    A technique to establish groupings of information for Web sites.
•    Briefly, the process is as follows:
o    From previous analyses, identify about 50 content topics and inscribe them on index cards. Limit topics to no more than 100.
o    Provide blank index cards for names of additional topics the participant may want to add, and colored blank cards for groupings that the participant will be asked to create.
o    Number the cards on the back.
o    Arrange for a facility with large enough table for spreading out cards.
o    Select participants representing a range of users. Use one or two people at a time
and 5 to 12 in total.
o    Explain the process to the participants, saying that you are trying to determine what categories of information will be useful, what groupings make sense, and what the groupings should be called.
o    Ask the participants to sort the cards and talk out loud while doing so. Advise the participants that additional content cards may be named and added as they think necessary during the sorting process.
o    Observe and take notes as the participants talk about what they are doing. Pay particular attention to the sorting rationale.

o    Upon finishing the sorting, if a participant has too many groupings ask that they be arranged hierarchically.
o    Ask participants to provide a name for each grouping on the colored blank cards, using words that the user would expect to see that would lead them to that particular grouping.
o    Make a record of the groupings using the numbers on the back of each card.
o    Reshuffle the cards for the next session.
o    When finished, analyze the results looking for commonalities among the different
sorting sessions.


•    An indirect method of requirements determination is one that places an intermediary between the developer and the user. This intermediary may be electronic or another person

Problems of Indirect Method

•    First, there may be a filtering or distortion of the message, either intentional or unintentional.
•    Next, the intermediary may not possess a complete, or current, understanding of user’s needs, passing on an incomplete or incorrect message.
•    Finally, the intermediary may be a mechanism that discourages direct user-developer contact for political reasons.

MIS Intermediary

•    A company representative defines the user’s goals and needs to designers and developers.
•    This representative may come from the Information Services department itself, or he or she may be from the using department.

Paper Survey or Questionnaire

•    A survey or questionnaire is administered to a sample of users using traditional mail methods to obtain their needs.
•    Advantage
o    Questionnaires have the potential to be used for a large target audience located most anywhere, and are much cheaper than customer visits.
o    They generally, however, have a low return rate
•    Disadvantage
o    They may take a long time to collect and may be difficult to analyze.
•    Questionnaires should be composed mostly of closed questions
•    Questionnaires should be relatively short and created by someone experienced in their design.

Electronic Survey or Questionnaire

•    A survey or questionnaire is administered to a sample of users using e-mail or the Web to obtain their needs.
•    In creating an electronic survey:
o    Determine the survey objectives.
o    Determine where you will find the people to complete the survey.
o    Create a mix of multiple choice and open-ended questions requiring short answers
addressing the survey objectives.
o    Keep it short, about 10 items or less is preferable.
o    Keep it simple, requiring no more than 5–10 minutes to complete
•    Iterative survey
o    Consider a follow-up more detailed survey, or surveys, called iterative surveys.
Ask people who complete and return the initial survey if they are willing to
answer more detailed questions. If so, create and send the more detailed survey.
o    A third follow-up survey can also be designed to gather additional information about the most important requirements and tasks
o    Iterative surveys, of course, take a longer time to complete.

Electronic Focus Group

•    A  small  group  of  users  and  a  moderator  discuss  the  requirements  online  using workstations.
•    advantages

o    advantages of electronic focus groups over traditional focus groups are that the discussion is less influenced by group dynamics; has a smaller chance of being dominated by one or a few participants; can be anonymous, leading to more honest comments and less caution in proposing new ideas
•    Disadvantages
o    The depth and richness of verbal discussions does not exist and the communication enhancement aspects of seeing participant’s body language are missing.

Marketing and Sales

•    Company representatives who regularly meet customers obtain suggestions or needs, current and potential.

Support Line

•    Information  collected  by the  unit  that  helps  customers  with  day-to-day problems  is analyzed (Customer Support, Technical Support, Help Desk, etc.).

E-M    ail or Bulletin Board

•    Problems, questions, and suggestions from users posted to a bulletin board or through e- mail are analyzed.
 User Group

•    Improvements are suggested by customer groups who convene periodically to discuss software usage. They require careful planning.

Competitor Analyses
•    A review of competitor’s products or Web sites is used to gather ideas, uncover design requirements and identify tasks.

Trade Show

•    Customers at a trade show are presented a mock-up or prototype and asked for comments.

Other Media Analysis

•    An analysis of how other media, print or broadcast, present the process, information, or subject matter of interest.

System Testing

•    New requirements and feedback are obtained from ongoing product testing

Requirements Collection Guidelines

•    Establish 4 to 6 different developer-user links.
•    Provide most reliance on direct links.Determining Basic Business Functions

•    A detailed description of what the product will do is prepared. Major system functions are listed and described, including critical system inputs and outputs. A flowchart of major functions is developed. The process the developer will use is summarized as follows:
o    Gain a complete understanding of the user’s mental model based upon:
    The user’s needs and the user’s profile.
    A user task analysis.
o    Develop a conceptual model of the system based upon the user’s mental model.
This includes:
    Defining objects.
    Developing metaphors.

b)    Disscus the structure and content of menus    (16)

Structures of MenusSingle Menus•    In this simplest form of menu, a single screen or window is presented to seek the user’s input or request an action to be performed

•    A single menu may be iterative if it requires data to be entered into it and this data input is subject to a validity check that fails. The menu will then be represented to the user with a message requesting reentry of valid data.

Sequential Linear Menus

•    Sequential linear menus are presented on a series of screens possessing only one path.
•    The menu screens are presented in a preset order, and, generally, their objective is for specifying parameters or for entering data.
 •    Sequential path menus have several shortcomings. A long sequence may become tedious as menu after menu is presented.

Simultaneous Menus

•    Instead of being presented on separate screens, all menu options are available simultaneously

•    Problems with simultaneous menus are that for large collections of menu alternatives screen clutter can easily occur, and screen paging or scrolling may still be necessary to view all the choices.
•    Presenting many menu dependencies and relationships on a screen, especially if poorly indicated, can also be very confusing

Hierarchical Menus

•    A hierarchical structure results in an increasing refinement of choice as menus  are stepped through, for example, from options, to suboptions, from categories to subcategories, from pages to sections to subsections, and so on
•    A hierarchical structure can best be represented as an inverse tree, leading to more and more branches as one moves downward through it.
•    Common examples of hierarchical design today are found in menu bars with their associated pull-downs

•    A disadvantage of a hierarchical scheme is that the defined branching order may not fit the users conception of the task flow.
•    If users are not familiar with the hierarchical menu, or are unable to predict what suboptions lie below
•    a particular choice, they may go down wrong paths and find it necessary to go back up the tree to change a choice, or perhaps even return to the top-level menu

Connected Menus

•    Connected menus are networks of menus all interconnected in some manner. Movement through a structure of menus is not restricted to a hierarchical tree, but is permitted between most or all menus in the network.

•    A connected menu system may be cyclical, with movement permitted in either direction between menus, or acyclical, with movement permitted in only one direction. These menus also vary in connectivity, the extent to which menus are linked by multiple paths.

•    The biggest advantage of a connected menu network is that it gives the user full control over the navigation flow. Its disadvantage is its complexity,

Event-Trapping Menus

•    Event Trapping menus provide an ever-present background of control over the system’s state and parameters while the user is working on a foreground task.
•    Event-trapping menus generally serve one of three functions.
(1)    They may immediately change some parameter in the current environment (bold a piece  of text),
(2)    they may take the user out of the current environment to perform a function without leaving the current environment (perform a spell check), or
(3)    they may exit the current environment and allow the user to move to a totally new environment (Exit).Functions of Menus

•    a menu can be used to perform several functions, to navigate to a new menu, to execute an action or procedure, to display information, or to input data or parameters
Navigation to a New Menu

•    Each user selection causes another menu in a hierarchical menu tree to be displayed.
•    The purpose of each selection is to steer the user toward an objective or goal.
•    Selection  errors  may lead  the  user  down  wrong paths,  and  cost  time  and,  perhaps, aggravation, but these errors are nondestructive and usually undoable.
Execute an Action or Procedure

•    A user selection directs the computer to implement an action or perform a procedure.

•    The action may be something like opening or closing a file, copying text, or sending a message.
•    Accidental selection of critical irreversible actions must be prevented in interface design.
Displaying Information

•    The main purpose of selecting a menu choice may simply be to display information.
•    The user may be searching for specific information in a database or browsing the Web.
The content material and the user’s interests will determine the paths followed.
•    The user’s focus is primarily on the information desired and less on the selection function. Wrong turns in the process will again cost time and perhaps aggravation, but these errors are nondestructive and usually undoable.

Data or Parameter Input•    Each selection specifies a piece of input data for the system or provides a parameter value. Data or values may be input on a single menu or spread over a hierarchy of menus.Content of Menus

•    A menu consists of four elements, its context, its title, its choice descriptions, and its completion instructions.
Menu Context

•    A menu’s context provides information to keep the user oriented.
•    Feedback is necessary that tells users where they are in a process, what their past choices were, and possibly how much farther they still have to navigate
•    Verbal linkage, spatial linkage, or both may be used to provide navigation feedback.
•    Verbal linkage involves providing, on the current menu screen, a listing of choices made on previous menus that have led to this position. It also involves assuring the user that the displayed menu is the menu desired
•    Spatial linkage can be accomplished by graphic methods. Each succeeding menu screen can be displayed overlapping the previous menu screen so a succession of choices can be seen in a single view.
Menu Title•    A menu’s title provides the context for the current set of choices. The title must reflect the choice selected on the previously displayed menu.

Choice Descriptions

•    Choice descriptions are the alternatives available to the user.
•    These  descriptions  can  range  from  a  mnemonic,  numeric,  or  alphabetized  listing of choices to single words or phrases to full sentences or more.
Completion Instructions

•    Completion instructions tell users how to indicate their choices
•    Explicit  instructions  may  be  needed  for  first  time  or  casual  users  of  a  system.
Experienced users will find overly verbose instructions unnecessary.
•    The needs of all system users, and the nature of the system, must again be considered in creating this kind of on-screen guidance.
Formatting of Menus

•    What follows is a series of guidelines for formatting menus.

•    Provide consistency with the user’s expectations.
•    Provide consistency in menu:
—    Formatting, including organization, presentation, and choice ordering.
—    Phrasing, including titles, choice descriptions, and instructions.
—    Choice selection methods.
—    Navigation schemes.

•    If continual or frequent references to menu options are necessary, permanently display the menu in an area of the screen that will not obscure other screen data.
•    If only occasional references to menu options are necessary, the menu may be presented on demand.
—    Critical options should be continuously displayed, however.Presentation

•    Ensure that a menu and its choices are obvious to the user by presenting them with a unique and consistent structure, location, and/or display technique.
•    Ensure that other system components do not possess the same visual qualities as menu choices.Organization

•    Provide a general or main menu.
•    Display:
—    All relevant alternatives.
—    Only relevant alternatives.
•    Delete or gray-out inactive choices.
•    Match the menu structure to the structure of the task.
—    Organization should reflect the most efficient sequence of steps to accomplish a person’s most frequent or most likely goals.
•    Minimize number of menu levels within limits of clarity.
—    For  Web  sites,  restrict  it  to  two  levels  (requiring  two  mouse  clicks)  for  fastest performance.
•    Be conservative in the number of menu choices presented on a screen:
—    Without logical groupings of elements, limit choices to 4 to 8.
—    With logical groupings of elements, limit choices to 18 to 24.
•    Provide decreasing direction menus, if sensible.
•    Never require menus to be scrolled.
•    Provide  users  with  an  easy  way  to  restructure  a  menu  according  to  how  work  is accomplished.
•    In general, the more choices contained on a menu (greater breadth), the less will be its depth; the fewer choices on a menu (less breadth), the greater will be its depth.
•    The advantages of a menu system with greater breadth and less depth are:
o    Fewer steps and shorter time to reach one’s objective.
o    Fewer opportunities to wander down wrong paths.
o    Easier learning by allowing the user to see relationships of menu items.
•    A broad menu’s disadvantages are:
o    A more crowded menu that may reduce the clarity of the wording of choices.
o    Increased likelihood of confusing similar choices because they are seen together.
•    The advantages of greater depth are:
o    Less crowding on the menu.
o    Fewer choices to be scanned.
o    Easier hiding of inappropriate choices.
o    Less likelihood of confusing similar choices since there is less likelihood that they
will be seen together.
•    Greater depth disadvantages are:
o    More steps and longer time to reach one’s objective.
o    More difficulties in learning since relationships between elements cannot always
be seen.

o    More difficulties in predicting what lies below, resulting in increased likelihood of going down wrong paths or getting lost.
o    Higher error rates.Complexity

•    Provide both simple and complex menus.
•    Simple: a minimal set of actions and menus.
•    Complex: a complete set of actions and menus.
Item Arrangement

•    Align alternatives or choices into single columns whenever possible.
—    Orient for top-to-bottom reading.
—    Left-justify descriptions.
•    If a horizontal orientation of descriptions must be maintained:
—    Organize for left-to-right reading.Ordering

•    Order lists of choices by their natural order, or
•    For lists associated with numbers, use numeric order.
•    For textual lists with a small number of options (seven or less), order by:
—    Sequence of occurrence.
—    Frequency of occurrence.
—    Importance.
—    Semantic similarity.
•    Use alphabetic order for:
—    Long lists (eight or more options).
—    Short lists with no obvious pattern or frequency.
•    Separate potentially destructive actions from frequently chosen items.
•    If option usage changes, do not reorder menus.
•    Maintain a consistent ordering of options on all related menus.
—    For variable-length menus, maintain consistent relative positions.
—    For fixed-length menus, maintain consistent absolute positions.
•    A meaningful ordering is necessary to:
o    Facilitate search for an item.
o    Provide information about the structure and relationships among items.
o    Provide compatibility with the user’s mental model of the item structure.
o    Enhance the user’s ability to anticipate a choice’s location.


•    Create  groupings  of  items  that  are  logical,  distinctive,  meaningful,  and  mutually exclusive.
•    Categorize them in such a way as to:
—    Maximize the similarity of items within a category.
—    Minimize the similarity of items across categories.
•    Present no more than six or seven groupings on a screen.
•    Order categorized groupings in a meaningful way.
•    If meaningful categories  cannot  be developed and more than eight options must be displayed on a screen, create arbitrary visual groupings that:
—    Consist of about four or five but never more than seven options.
—    Are of equal size.
•    Separate groupings created through either:
—    Wider spacing, or
—    A thin ruled line.
•    Provide immediate access to critical or frequently chosen items.
Line Separators

•    Separate vertically arrayed groupings with subtle solid lines.
•    Separate vertically arrayed subgroupings with subtle dotted or dashed lines.
•    For subgroupings within a category:
—    Left-justify the lines under the first letter of the columnized choice descriptions.
—    Right-justify the lines under the last character of the longest choice description.
•    For independent groupings:
—    Extend the line to the left and right menu borders.
Phrasing the Menu

•    A menu must communicate to the user information about:
o    The nature and purpose of the menu itself.
o    The nature and purpose of each presented choice.
o    How the proper choice or choices may be selected.
Menu Titles

•    Main menu:

—    Create a short, simple, clear, and distinctive title, describing the purpose of the entire series of choices.
•    Submenus:
—    Submenu titles must be worded exactly the same as the menu choice previously selected to display them.
•    General:
—    Locate the title at the top of the listing of choices.
—    Spell out the title fully using either an:
•    Uppercase font.
•    Mixed-case font in the headline style.
—    Superfluous titles may be omitted.
Menu Choice Descriptions

•    Create meaningful choice descriptions that are familiar, fully spelled out, concise,and distinctive.
•    Descriptions may be single words, compound words, or multiple words or phrases.
—    Exception: Menu bar items should be a single word (if possible).
•    Place the keyword first, usually a verb.
•    Use the headline style, capitalizing the first letter of each significant word in the choice description.
•    Use task-oriented not data-oriented wording.
•    Use parallel construction.
•    A menu choice must never have the same wording as its menu title.
•    Identical choices on different menus should be worded identically.
•    Choices should not be numbered.
—    Exception: If the listing is numeric in nature, graphic, or a list of varying items, it may be numbered.
•    If menu options will be used in conjunction with a command language, the capitalization and syntax of the choices should be consistent with the command language.
•    Word choices as commands to the computer.
Menu Instructions

•    For novice or inexperienced users, provide menu completion instructions.
—    Place the instructions in a position just preceding the part, or parts, of the menu to which they apply.
•    Left-justify the instruction and indent the related menu choice descriptions a minimum of three spaces to the right.
•    Leave a space line, if possible, between the instructions and the related menu choice descriptions.
—    Present instructions in a mixed-case font in sentence style.
•    For expert users, make these instructions easy to ignore by:

—    Presenting them in a consistent location.
—    Displaying them in a unique type style and/or color.
Intent Indicators

•    Cascade indicator:
—    To indicate that selection of an item will lead to a submenu, place a triangle or right- pointing solid arrow following the choice.
—    A cascade indicator must designate every cascaded menu.
•    To a window indicator:
—    For choices that result in displaying a window to collect more information, place an ellipsis (. . .) immediately following the choice.
•    Exceptions—do not use when an action:
–    Causes a warning window to be displayed.
–    May or may not lead to a window.
•    Direct action items:
—    For choices that directly perform an action, no special indicator should be placed on the menu.

Keyboard Equivalents

•    To facilitate keyboard selection of a menu choice, each menu item should be assigned a keyboard equivalent mnemonic.
•    The mnemonic should be the first character of the menu item’s description.
—    If duplication exists in first characters, use another character in the duplicated item’s description.
—    Preferably choose the first succeeding consonant.
•    Designate the mnemonic character by underlining it.
•    Use industry-standard keyboard access equivalents when they exist.Keyboard Accelerators

•    For frequently used items, provide a keyboard accelerator to facilitate keyboard selection.
•    The accelerator may be one function key or a combination of keys.

—    Function key shortcuts are easier to learn than modifier plus letter shortcuts.
•    Pressing no more than two keys simultaneously is preferred.
—    Do not exceed three simultaneous keystrokes.
•    Use a plus (+) sign to indicate that two or more keys must be pressed at the same time.
•    Accelerators should have some associative value to the item.
•    Identify the keys by their actual key top engraving.
•    If keyboard terminology differences exist, use:
—    The most common keyboard terminology.
—    Terminology contained on the newest PCs.
•    Separate the accelerator from the item description by three spaces.
•    Right-align the key descriptions.
•    Do not use accelerators for:
—    Menu items that have cascaded menus.
—    Pop-up menus.
•    Use industry-standard keyboard accelerators

13)    A )    Discuss in detail about windows presentation style    (16) Window Presentation Styles

•    The presentation style of a window refers to its spatial relationship to other windows.
•    There are two basic styles, commonly called tiled or overlapping.

Tiled Windows

•    Tiled windows derive their name from common floor or wall tile. Tiled windows appear in one plane on the screen and expand or contract to fill up the display surface, as needed.
•    Most systems provide two-dimensional tiled windows, adjustable in both height and width.

•    advantages:

o    The system usually allocates and positions windows for the user, eliminating the necessity to make positioning decisions.
o    Open windows are always visible, eliminating the possibility of them being lost and forgotten.
o    Every  window  is  always  completely  visible,  eliminating  the  possibility  of information being hidden.
o    They  are  perceived  as  fewer  complexes  than  overlapping  windows,  possibly because there are fewer management operations or they seem less “magical.”
o    They are easier, according to studies, for novice or inexperienced people to learn and use.
o    They yield better user performance for tasks where the data requires little window manipulation to complete the task.

•    Disadvantages

o    Only a limited number can be displayed in the screen area available.
o    As windows are opened or closed, existing windows change in size. This can be
o    As windows change in size or position, the movement can be disconcerting.
o    As the number of displayed windows increases, each window can get very tiny.
o    The changes in sizes and locations made by the system are difficult to predict.
o    The configuration of windows provided by the system may not meet the user’s
o    They are perceived as crowded and more visually complex because window borders are flush against one another, and they fill up the whole screen. Crowding is accentuated if borders contain scroll bars or control icons. Viewer attention may be drawn to the border, not the data.
o    They permit less user control because the system actively manages the windows.

Overlapping Windows

•    Overlapping windows may be placed on top of one another like papers on a desk.
•    They possess a three-dimensional quality, appearing to lie on different planes.

•    Advantages:

o    Visually, their look is three-dimensional, resembling the desktop that is familiar to the user.
o    Greater control allows the user to organize the windows to meet his or her needs.
o    Windows can maintain larger sizes.
o    Windows can maintain consistent sizes.
o    Windows can maintain consistent positions.
o    Screen space conservation is not a problem, because windows can be placed on
top of one another.
o    There is less pressure to close or delete windows no longer needed.
o    The possibility exists for less visual crowding and complexity. Larger borders can
be maintained around window information, and the window is more clearly set off
against its background. Windows can also be expanded to fill the entire display.
o    They  yield  better  user  performance  for  tasks  where  the  data  requires  much window manipulation to complete the task.

•    Disadvantages

o    They are operationally much more complex than tiled windows. More control functions require greater user attention and manipulation.
o    Information in windows can be obscured behind other windows.
o    Windows themselves can be lost behind other windows and be presumed not to
o    That  overlapping windows represent a three-dimensional space is not  always realized by the user.
o    Control freedom increases the possibility for greater visual complexity and crowding. Too many windows, or improper offsetting, can be visually overwhelming.

Cascading Windows

•    A special type of overlapping window has the windows automatically arranged in a regular progression.
•    Each window is slightly offset from others, as illustrated in Figure

•    Advantages

o    No window is ever completely hidden.
o    Bringing any window to the front is easier.
o    It provides simplicity in visual presentation and cleanness.

Picking a Presentation Style

•    Use tiled windows for:
o    Single-task activities.
o    Data that needs to be seen simultaneously.
o    Tasks requiring little window manipulation.
o    Novice or inexperienced users.

•    Use overlapping windows for:

o    Switching between tasks.
o    Tasks necessitating a greater amount of window manipulation.
o    Expert or experienced users.
o    Unpredictable display contents.

Types of Windows Primary Window

•    Proper usage:

—    Should represent an independent function or application.
—    Use to present constantly used window components and controls.
•    Menu bar items that are:
—    Used frequently.
—    Used by most, or all, primary or secondary windows.
•    Controls used by dependent windows.
—    Use for presenting information that is continually updated.
•    For example, date and time.
—    Use for providing context for dependent windows to be created.
—    Do not:
•    Divide an independent function into two or more primary windows.
•    Present unrelated functions in one primary window.
•    It has also been variously referred to as the application window or the main window. In addition, it may be referred to as the parent window if one or more child windows exist

Secondary Windows

•    Proper usage:
—    For performing subordinate, supplemental, or ancillary actions that are:
•    Extended or more complex in nature.
•    Related to objects in the primary window.
—    For presenting frequently or occasionally used window components.
•    Important guidelines:
—    Should typically not appear as an entry on the taskbar.
—    A secondary window should not be larger than 263 dialog units x 263 dialog units.
•    A dependent secondary window is one common type. It can only be displayed from a command on the interface of its primary window. It is typically associated with a single data object, and appears on top of the active window when requested. It is movable, and scrollable.
•    An independent secondary window can be opened independently of a primary window— for example, a property sheet displayed when the user clicks the Properties command on the menu of a desktop icon.

Modal and Modeless

•    Modal:
—    Use when interaction with any other window must not be permitted.
—    Use for:
•    Presenting information.
—    For example, messages (sometimes called a message box).
•    Receiving user input.
—    For example, data or information (sometimes called a prompt box).
•    Asking questions.
—    For example, data, information, or directions (sometimes called a question box).
—    Use carefully because it constrains what the user can do.
•    Modeless:
—    Use when interaction with other windows must be permitted.
—    Use when interaction with other windows must be repeated.

Cascading and Unfolding

•    Cascading:
—    Purpose:
•    To provide advanced options at a lower level in a complex dialog.
—    Guidelines:
•    Provide a command button leading to the next dialog box with a “To a Window” indicator, an ellipsis (. . . ).
•    Present the additional dialog box in cascaded form.
•    Provide no more than two cascades in a given path.
•    Do not cover previous critical information.
—    Title Bar.
—    Relevant displayed information.
•    If independent, close the secondary window from which it was opened.
•    Unfolding:
—    Purpose:
•    To provide advanced options at the same level in a complex dialog.
—    Guidelines:
•    Provide a command button with an expanding dialog symbol (>>).
•    Expand to right or downward.

Cascaded Window

Unfolded Window

Dialog Boxes

•    Use for presenting brief messages.
•    Use for requesting specific, transient actions.
•    Use for performing actions that:
—    Take a short time to complete.
—    Are not frequently changed.
•    Command buttons to include:
—    OK.
—    Cancel.
—    Others as necessary.

Property Sheets and Property Inspectors

Secondary windows provide two other techniques for displaying properties, property sheets and
property inspectors.

Property Sheets

•    Use for presenting the complete set of properties for an object.

•    Categorize and group within property pages, as necessary.
—    Use tabbed property pages for grouping peer-related property sets.
—    The recommended sizes for property sheets are:
•    252 DLUs wide x 218 DLUs high
•    227 DLUs wide x 215 DLUs high
•    212 DLUs wide x 188 DLUs high
—    Command buttons to include:
•    OK.
•    Cancel.
•    Apply.
•    Reset.
•    Others as necessary.
—    For single property sheets, place the commands on the sheet.
—    For tabbed property pages, place the commands outside the tabbed pages.

Property Inspectors

•    Use for displaying only the most common or frequently accessed objects properties.
•    Make changes dynamically.

Message Boxes

•    Use for displaying a message about a particular situation or condition.
•    Command buttons to include:
—    OK.
—    Cancel.
—    Help.
—    Yes and No.
—    Stop.
—    Buttons to correct the action that caused the message box to be displayed.
•    Enable the title bar close box only if the message includes a cancel button.
•    Designate the most frequent or least destructive option as the default command

Palette Windows

•    Use to present a set of controls.
•    Design as resizable.
—    Alternately, design them as fixed in size.

Pop-up Windows

•    Use pop-up windows to display:
—    Additional information when an abbreviated form of the information is the main presentation.
—    Textual labels for graphical controls.
—    Context-sensitive Help information

b)    Discuss in detail about any four presentation controls.    (16) Presentation Controls

•    Common presentation controls are static text fields, group boxes column headings, ToolTips, balloon tips, and progress indicators.

Static Text Fields

•    Description:
—    Read-only textual information.
•    Purpose:
—    To identify a control by displaying a control caption.
—    To clarify a screen by providing instructional or prompting information.

—    To present descriptive information.
•    Proper usage:
—    To display a control caption.
—    To display instructional or prompting information.
—    To display descriptive information.

Static Text Field Guidelines

•    Captions:
—    Include a colon (:) as part of the caption.
—    Include a mnemonic for keyboard access.
—    When the associated control is disabled, display it dimmed.
—    Follow all other presented guidelines for caption presentation and layout.
•    Instructional or prompting information:
—    Display it in a unique and consistent font style for easy recognition and differentiation.
—    Follow all other presented guidelines for prompting and instructional    information.
•    Descriptive information:
—    Follow all other guidelines for required screen or control descriptive    information.

Group Boxes

•    Description:
—    A rectangular frame that surrounds a control or group of controls.
—    An optional caption may be included in the frame’s upper-left corner.
•    Purpose:
—    To visually relate the elements of a control.
—    To visually relate a group of related controls.
•    Proper usage:
—    To provide a border around radio button or check box controls.
—    To provide a border around two or more functionally related controls.
•    Guidelines:
—    Label or heading:
•    Typically, use a noun or noun phrase for the label or heading.
•    Provide a brief label or heading, preferably one or two words.
•    Relate label or heading’s content to the group box’s content.
•    Capitalize the first letter of each significant word.
•    Do not include and ending colon ( : ).
—    Follow all other guidelines presented for control and section borders.

Column Headings

•    Description:
—    Read-only textual information that serves as a heading above columns of text    or numbers.
—    Can be divided into two or more parts.
•    Purpose:
—    To identify a column of information contained in a table.
•    Proper usage:
—    To display a heading above a column of information contained in a table.
•    Guidelines:
—    Heading:
•    Provide a brief heading.
•    Can include text and a graphic image.
•    Capitalize the first letter of each significant word.
•    Do not include an ending colon ( : ).
—    The width of the column should fit the average size of the column entries.
—    Does not support keyboard access.


•    Description:
—    A small pop-up window containing descriptive text that appears when a    pointer is moved over a control or element either:
•    Not possessing a label.
•    In need of additional descriptive or status information.
•    Purpose:
—    To provide descriptive information about a control or screen element.
•    Advantages:
—    Identifies an otherwise unidentified control.
—    Reduces possible screen clutter caused by control captions and descriptive information.
—    Enables control size to be reduced.
•    Disadvantages:
—    Not obvious, must be discovered.
—    Inadvertent appearance can be distracting.

•    Proper usage:
—    To identify a control that has no caption.
—    To provide additional descriptive or status information about a screen element.

ToolTip Guidelines

•    Display after a short time-out.
•    For toolbars, provide a brief word as a label.
—    Use mixed case in the headline style of presentation with no ending    punctuation.
•    For other elements, provide a brief phrase presenting descriptive or status information.
—    Use mixed case in the sentence style of presentation.
•    Present ToolTips at the lower-right edge of the pointer.
—    Display them fully on the screen.
—    For text boxes, display ToolTips centered under the control.
•    Display them in the standard system ToolTip colors.
•    Remove the ToolTip when the control is activated or the pointer is moved away.
•    Don’t substitute ToolTips for good design.

Balloon Tips

•    Description:
—    A small pop-up window that contains information in a word balloon.
—    Components can include:
•    Title.
•    Body text.
•    Message Icons.
—    Appear adjacent to the item to which they apply, generally above or to left.
—    Only one tip, the last posted, is visible at any time.
—    Tips are removed after a specified time period.
•    Purpose:
—    To provide additional descriptive or status information about a screen element.
•    Advantages:
—    Provides useful reminder and status information.
•    Disadvantages:
—    If overused they lose their attention-getting value.
—    If overused in situations the user considers not very important, their continual appearance can be aggravating.
•    Proper usage:
—    To display noncritical:
•    Reminder information.

•    Notification information.
—    Do not use tips to display critical information.

Balloon Tip Guidelines

•    General:
—    Use a notification tip to inform the user about state changes.
—    Use a reminder tip for state changes that the user might not usually notice.
—    Point the tip of the balloon to the item it references.
—    Do not use them to replace ToolTips.
—    Do not overuse balloon tips.
•    Content:
—    Restrict them to a length of 100 characters, including title and body text.
—    Title text should:
•    If the tip refers to an icon or other image representing a specific object, include:
—    The object’s name, using its normal capitalization.
—    The object’s status, using sentence-style presentation without ending punctuation.
•    Be presented in bold.
—    Body text should:
•    Include a description of the situation in one or two brief sentences.
•    Include a brief suggestion for correcting the situation.
•    Be presented using mixed-case in the sentence style.

Progress Indicators

•    Description:
—    A rectangular bar that fills as a process is being performed, indicating the percentage of the process that has been completed.
•    Purpose:
—    To provide feedback concerning the completion of a lengthy operation.
•    Proper usage:
—    To provide an indication of the proportion of a process completed.

Progress Indicator Guidelines

•    When filling the indicator:
—    If horizontally arrayed, fill it from left to right.
—    If vertically arrayed, fill it from bottom to top.
•    Fill it with a color or a shade of gray.
•    Include descriptive text for the process, as necessary.
•    Place text outside of the control.

14)    A) Elaborate on the Icons their types and Characteristics.    (16) Icons

Icons are most often used to represent objects and actions with which users can interact with or that they can manipulate

Kinds of Icons

Icons fall into these categories by Marcus:
•    Icon. Something that looks like what it means.
•    Index. A sign that was caused by the thing to which it refers.
•    Symbol. A sign that may be completely arbitrary in appearance. An expanded definition by Roger’s icon kinds are
•    Resemblance—An image that looks like what it means. a book, for example , to represent a dictionary
•    Symbolic—An abstract image representing something. A cracked glass, for example, can represent something fragile
•    Exemplar—An image illustrating an example or characteristic of something. a knife and fork has come to indicate a restaurant
•    Arbitrary—An image completely arbitrary in appearance whose meaning must be learned.
•    Analogy—An image physically or semantically associated with something. a wheelbarrow full of bricks for the move command

Characteristics of Icons

An icon possesses the technical qualities of syntactics, semantics, and pragmatics
•    Syntactics refers to an icon’s physical structure.

•    Semantics is the icon’s meaning.
•    Pragmatics is how the icons are physically produced and depicted.

Icon Usability

•    Provide icons that are:
—    Familiar.
—    Clear and Legible.
—    Simple.
—    Consistent.
—    Direct.
—    Efficient.
—    Discriminable.
•    Also consider the:
—    Context in which the icon is used.
—    Expectancies of users.
—    Complexity of task.
Choosing Icons

A Successful Icon

•    Looks different from all other icons.
•    Is obvious what it does or represents.
•    Is recognizable when no larger than 16 pixels square.
•    Looks as good in black and white as in color.


•    Supply in all standard sizes.

•    16- and 256-color versions.

•    16- and 256-color versions.

•    16- and 256-color versions.
•    Use colors from the system palette.
•    Use an odd number of pixels along each side.
—    Provides center pixel around which to focus design.
•    Minimum sizes for easy selection:
—    With stylus or pen: 15 pixels square.
—    With mouse: 20 pixels square.
—    With finger: 40 pixels square.
•    Provide as large a hot zone as possible.
b)    Discuss any five Guidance and Assistance mechanisms.    (16)

Guidance and Assistance

Preventing Errors
•    Errors can be classified as slips or mistakes. A slip is automatic behavior gone awry.
Slips are usually, but not always, corrected fairly easily. Slips can be reduced through proper application of human factors in design
•    A mistake results from forming a wrong model or goal and then acting on it. A mistake may not be easily detected because the action may be proper for the perceived goal—it is the goal that is wrong.

Problem Management

•    Prevention:
—    Disable inapplicable choices.
—    Use selection instead of entry controls.
—    Use aided entry.
—    Accept common misspellings, whenever possible.
—    Before an action is performed:
•    Permit it to be reviewed.
•    Permit it to be changed or undone.
—    Provide a common action mechanism.
—    Force confirmation of destructive actions.
•    Let expert users disable this.
—    Provide an automatic and continuous Save function.
•    Detection:
—    For conversational dialogs, validate entries as close to point of entry as possible.
•    At character level.
•    At control level.
•    When the transaction is completed or the window closed.
—    For high speed, head-down data entry.
•    When the transaction is completed or the window closed.
—    Leave window open.
—    Maintain the item in error on the screen.
—    Visually highlight the item in error.
—    Display an error message in a window.
•    Do not obscure item in error.
—    Handle errors as gracefully as possible.
•    The greater the error, the more dramatic should be the warning.
—    Use auditory signals conservatively.
•    Correction:
—    Preserve as much of the user’s work as possible.
—    At window-level validation, use a modeless dialog box to display an error list.
•    Highlight first error in the list.
•    Place cursor at first control with error.
•    Permit fixing one error and continuing to next error.
—    Always give a person something to do when an error occurs.

•    Something to enter/save/reverse.
•    A Help button.
•    Someone to call.
—    Provide a constructive correction message saying:
•    What problem was detected?
•    Which items are in error?
•    What corrective action is necessary?
—    Initiate a clarification dialog if necessary.

Providing Guidance and Assistance

•    Guidance in the form of the system’s hard-copy, online documentation, computer-based training, instructional or prompting messages, and system messages serves as a cognitive development tool to aid this process. So does assistance provided by another form of online documentation, the Help function.
•    Useful guidance and assistance answers the following questions:
o    What is this?
o    What does it do?
o    How do I make it do it?
o    What is its role in the overall scheme of things?

Problems with Documentation

Poor products, however, suggest that being a native speaker of the language is not a sufficient qualification to ensure communicative success. Rather, four other factors contribute to bad design.
•    Organizational factors. First are organizational factors including management decisions concerning who does the writing: product developers or specialist technical authors. Another organizational factor
•    is the frequency and nature of the contact between writers and developers.
•    Time scale. Second is the time scale allocated for the writing process. Successful writing also involves detailed early planning, drafting, testing, and considerable revising.
•    Theoretical rationale. Third, there is not yet a clear theoretical rationale about what content should be included in documentation and how this information should be presented.
•    Resources. Finally, Wright concludes, there are the resources. Adequate resources are needed to include people with different skills in the documentation development process.
Another problem with documentation is created by the need for translation in our shrinking world.

How Users Interact with Documentation

There are three broad stages through which a reader interacts with documentation:
•    Finding information is enhanced through use of contents pages and index lists.
•    Pictures and symbols can also be used to draw the reader’s attention to particular kinds of information.

•    Understanding can also be maximized through testing and revision of materials as necessary.

Instructions or Prompting

•    Instructional or prompting information is placed within the body of a screen. Prompting is provided to assist a person in providing what is necessary to complete a screen.
•    Inexperienced users find prompting a valuable aid in learning a system.
•    Since instructions or prompting can easily create screen noise, be cautious in placing it on a screen. Use it only if all screen usage will be casual or infrequent.

Help Facility

•    The most common form of online documentation is the Help system. The overall objective of a Help facility is to assist people in remembering what to do.
•    One potential danger of the Help facility, as one study found, is that a person’s recall of command operations is related to frequency of Help facility access; fewer Help requests were associated with better command recall.
•    The specific design characteristics that enhance an online Help are still being identified.
Three broad areas of Help that must be addressed in creating Help are: its content, its presentation, and its access mechanisms.
•    The content (and structure) of an effective online Help can be specified using the GOMS (goals, operators, methods, selection rules) model

Help Facility Guidelines

•    Kind:
—    Collect data to determine what types of Help are needed.
•    Training:
—    Inform users of availability and purpose of Help.
•    Availability:
—    Provide availability throughout the dialog.
—    If no Help is available for a specific situation, inform the user of this and provide directions to where relevant Help may exist.
•    Structure:
—    Make them as specific as possible.
—    Provide a hierarchical framework.
•    Brief operational definitions and input rules.
•    Summary explanations in text.
•    Typical task-oriented examples.
•    Interaction:
—    Provide easy accessibility.
—    Leave the Help displayed until:
•    The user exits.
•    The action eliminating the need for Help is performed.
—    Provide instructions for exiting.

— Return to original position in dialog when Help is completed.
•    Location:
—    Minimize the obscuring of screen content.
—    If in a window, position priorities are: right, left, above, and below.
•    Content:
—    Minimize the Help’s length.
—    Develop modular dialogs that can be used to describe similar and dissimilar procedural elements of the interface.
—    Provide step-by-step interface procedures to assist the user with specific problems.
—    Provide procedural demonstrations of interface procedures to aid quick learning of simple operations.
—    Provide information to help users select between multiple interface methods.
—    Provide users with an understanding of representative tasks to increase their knowledge of when to apply specific skills.
•    Style:
—    Provide easy browsing and a distinctive format.
•    Contents screens and indexes.
•    Screen headings and subheadings.
•    Location indicators.
•    Descriptive words in the margin.
•    Visual differentiation of screen components.
•    Emphasized critical information.
—    Use concise, familiar, action-oriented wording.
—    Refer to other materials, when necessary.
—    Never use Help to compensate for poor interface design.
•    Consistency:
—    Provide a design philosophy consistent with other parts of the system.
•    Title:
—    Place the word “Help” in all Help screen titles.
Contextual Help

Contextual Help provides information within the context of a task being performed, or about a specific object being operated upon. Common kinds of contextual Help include Help command buttons, status bar messages, and ToolTips.

Help Command Button

•    Description:
—    A command button.
•    Purpose:
—    To provide an overview of, summary assistance for, or explanatory information about the purpose or contents of a window being displayed.
•    Design guidelines:
—    Present the Help in a secondary window or dialog box.

Status Bar Message

•    Description:
—    An abbreviated, context-sensitive message related to the screen item with the focus.
—    Appears in window’s status bar when the primary mouse button is pressed over an item (or keyboard focus is achieved).
•    Purpose:
—    To provide explanatory information about the object with the focus.
—    Use to:
•    Describe the use of a control, menu item, button, or toolbar.
•    Provide the context of activity within a window.
•    Present a progress indicator or other forms of feedback when the view of a window must not be obscured.
—    Do not use for information or access to functions essential to basic system operations unless another form of Help is provided elsewhere in the Help system.
—    If extended Help is available and must be presented, place “Press F1 for Help” in bar.
•    Writing guidelines:
—    Be constructive, not simply descriptive.
—    Be brief, but not cryptic.
—    Begin with a verb in the present tense.
—    If a command has multiple functions, summarize them.
—    If a command is disabled, explain why.


•    Description:
—    A small pop-up window that appears adjacent to control.
—    Presented when the pointer remains over a control a short period of time.
•    Purpose:
—    Use to display the name of a control when the control has no text label.
•    Design guidelines:
—    Make application-specific ToolTips consistent with system-supplied ToolTips.
—    Use system color setting for ToolTips above to distinguish them.

What’s This? Command

•    Description:
—    A command located on the Help drop-down menu on a primary window.
—    A button on the title bar of a secondary window.
—    A command on a pop-up menu for a specific object.
—    A button on a toolbar.
•    Purpose:
—    Use to provide contextual information about any screen object.
•    Design guidelines:
—    Phrase to answer the question “What is this?”

—    Indicate the action associated with the item.
—    Begin the description with a verb.
—    Include “why,” if helpful.
—    Include “how to,” if task requires multiple steps.
—    For command buttons, use an imperative form: “Click this to.…”

Task-Oriented Help

•    Description:
—    A primary window typically accessed through the Help Topics browser.
—    Includes a set of command buttons at the top; at minimum:
•    A button to display the Help Topics browser dialog box.
•    A Back button to return to the previous topic.
•    Buttons that provide access to other functions such as Copy or Print.
•    Purpose:
—    To describe the procedural steps for carrying out a task.
—    Focuses on how to do something.
•    Design guidelines:
—    Provide one procedure to complete a task, the simplest and most common.
—    Provide an explanation of the task’s goals and organizational structure at the start.
—    Divide procedural instructions into small steps.
—    Present each step in the order to be executed.
—    Label each step.
—    Explicitly state information necessary to complete each step.
—    Provide visuals that accurately depict the procedural steps.
—    Accompany visuals with some form of written or spoken instructions.
—    Begin any spoken instructions simultaneously with or slightly after a visual is presented.
—    Segment any animation to focus attention on specific parts.
—    Segment instructions.
—    Delay the opportunity to perform the procedure until all the procedure’s steps have been illustrated.
•    Presentation guidelines:
—    The window should consume a minimum amount of screen space, but be large enough to present the information without scrolling.
—    Normally, do not exceed four steps per window.
—    Use a different window color to distinguish task-oriented Help windows from other windows.
•    Writing guidelines:
—    Write simply and clearly, following all previously presented guidelines.
—    Focus on how information, rather than what or why.
—    Do not include introductory, conceptual, or reference material.
—    Limit steps to four or fewer to avoid scrolling or multiple windows.
—    If a control is referred to by its label, bold the label to set it off.
—    Include the topic title as part of the body.

Reference Help

•    Description:
—    An online reference book.
—    Typically accessed through a:
•    Command in a Help drop-down menu.
•    Toolbar button.
•    Purpose:
—    To present reference Help information, either:
•    Reference oriented.
•    User guide oriented.
•    Design guidelines:
—    Provide a consistent presentation style, following all previously presented guidelines.
—    Include a combination of contextual Help, and task-oriented Help, as necessary.
—    Include text, graphics, animation, video, and audio effects, as necessary.
—    Make displayed toolbar buttons contextual to the topic being viewed.
—    Provide jumps, a button or interactive area that triggers an event when it is selected, such as:
•    Moving from one topic to another.
•    Displaying a pop-up window.
•    Carrying out a command.
—    Visually distinguish a jump by:
•    Displaying it as a button.
•    Using a distinguishing color or font to identify it.
•    Changing the pointer image when it is over it.
•    Presentation guidelines:
—    Provide a nonscrolling region for long topics to keep the topic title and other key information visible.
•    Writing guidelines:
—    Write simply and clearly, following all previously presented guidelines.
—    Provide meaningful topic titles.


•    Description:
—    A series of presentation pages displayed in a secondary window.
—    Include:
•    Controls to collect input.
•    Navigation command buttons.
—    Typically accessed through:
•    Toolbar buttons.
•    Icons.
•    Purpose:
—    To perform a complex series of steps.
—    To perform a task that requires making several critical decisions.
—    To enter critical data and for use when the cost of errors is high.

—    To perform an infrequently accomplished task.
—    The necessary knowledge or experience to perform a task is lacking.
—    Not suited to teaching how to do something.
•    Design guidelines:
—    Provide a greater number of simple screens with fewer choices, rather than a smaller number of more complex screens with too many options or too much text.
—    Provide screens of the exact same size.
—    Include on the first page:
•    A graphic on the left side to establish a reference point or theme.
•    A welcoming paragraph on the right side to explain what the wizard does.
—    Include on subsequent pages:
•    A graphic for consistency.
•    Instructional text.
•    Controls for user input.
—    Maintain consistent the locations for all elements.
—    Make it visually clear that the graphic is not interactive.
•    Vary from normal size or render it as an abstract representation.
—    Include default values or settings for all controls when possible.
—    For frequently used wizards, place a check box with the text “Do not show this Welcome page again” at the bottom of the Welcome page.
—    Include a Finish button at the point where the task can be completed.
—    Do not require the user to leave a wizard to complete a task.
—    Make sure the design alternatives offered yield positive results.
—    Make certain it is obvious how to proceed when the wizard has completed its process.
•    Presentation guidelines:
—    Display the wizard window so it is immediately recognized as the primary point of
—    Present a single window at one time.
—    Do not advance pages automatically.
•    Writing guidelines:
—    Clearly identify the wizard’s purpose in title bar.
—    At the top right of the wizard window, title the Welcome page “Welcome to the
Wizard Name Wizard.”
•    Use mixed case in headline style and no ending punctuation.
—    Write simply, concisely, and clearly, following all previously presented guidelines.
—    Use a conversational rather than instructional style.
—    Use words like “you” and “your.”
—    Start most questions with phrases like “Which option do you want . . .” or “Would you like . .

Hints or Tips

•    Description:
—    A command button labeled Hints or Tips.
•    Purpose:

—    To provide a few important contextual, but specific, items of information related to a displayed screen.
•    Design guidelines:
—    Provide guidance on only two or three important points.
—    Locate the button near where its guidance applies.
—    Write concisely and to the point.

15)a) What are the different kinds of usability testing?
Explain four in detail.    (16)
The Purpose of Usability Testing

•    First, it establishes a communication bridge between developers and users. Through testing, the developer learns about the user’s goals, perceptions, questions, and problems.
•    Second, testing is used to evaluate a product. It validates design decisions. It also can identify potential problems in design at a point in the development process where they can be more easily addressed.
Heuristic Evaluation

•    Description:
—    A  detailed  evaluation  of  a  system  by  interface  design  specialists  to  identify problems.
•    Advantages:
—    Easy to do.
—    Relatively low cost.
—    Does not waste user’s time.
—    Can identify many problems.
•    Disadvantages:
—    Evaluators must possess interface design expertise.
—    Evaluators  may  not  possess  an  adequate  understanding  of  the  tasks  and  user communities.
—    Difficult to identify system wide structural problems.
—    Difficult to uncover missing exits and interface elements.
—    Difficult to identify the most important problems among all problems uncovered.
—    Does not provide any systematic way to generate solutions to the problems uncovered.
•    Guidelines:
—    Use 3 to 5 expert evaluators.
—    Choose knowledgeable people:
•    Familiar with the project situation.
•    Possessing a long-term relationship with the organization.
•    Heuristic Evaluation Process
o    Preparing the session:
—    Select evaluators.
—    Prepare or assemble:
•    A project overview.
•    A checklist of heuristics.
—    Provide briefing to evaluators to:

•    Review the purpose of the evaluation session.
•    Preview the evaluation process.
•    Present the project overview and heuristics.
•    Answer any evaluator questions.
•    Provide any special evaluator training that may be necessary.
o    Conducting the session:
—    Have each evaluator review the system alone.
—    The evaluator should:
•    Establish own process or method of reviewing the system.
—    provide usage scenarios, if necessary.
•    Compare his or her findings with the list of usability principles.
•    Identify any other relevant problems or issues.
•    Make at least two passes through the system.
—    Detected problems should be related to the specific heuristics they violate.
—    Comments are recorded either:
•    By the evaluator.
•    By an observer.
—    The observer may answer questions and provide hints.
—    Restrict the length of the session to no more than 2 hours.
o    After the session:
—    Hold a debriefing session including observers and design team members where:
•    Each evaluator presents problems detected and the heuristic it violated.
•    A composite problem listing is assembled.
•    Design suggestions for improving the problematic aspects of the system are discussed.
—    After the debriefing session:
•    Generate a composite list of violations as a ratings form.
•    Request evaluators to assign severity ratings to each violation.
•    Analyze results and establish a program to correct violations and deficiencies.
Cognitive Walkthroughs

•    Description:
—    Reviews of the interface in the context of tasks users perform.
•    Advantages:
—    Allow a clear evaluation of the task flow early in the design process.
—    Do not require a functioning prototype.
—    Low cost.
—    Can be used to evaluate alternate solutions.
—    Can be performed by developers.
—    More structured than a heuristic evaluation.
—    Useful for assessing “exploratory learning.”
•    Disadvantages:
—    Tedious to perform.
—    May miss inconsistencies and general and recurring problems.
•    Guidelines:
—    Needed to conduct the walkthrough are:

•    A general description of proposed system users and what relevant knowledge they possess.
•    A  specific  description  of  one  or  more  core  or  representative  tasks  to  be performed.
•    A list of the correct actions required to complete each of the tasks.
—    Review:
•    Several core or representative tasks across a range of functions.
•    Proposed tasks of particular concern.
—    Developers must be assigned roles of:
•    Scribe to record results of the action.
•    Facilitator to keep the evaluation moving.
—    Start with simple tasks.
—    Don’t get bogged down demanding solutions.
—    Limit session to 60 to 90 minutes.Think-Aloud Evaluations

•    Description:
—    Users perform specific tasks while thinking out load.
—    Comments are recorded and analyzed.
•    Advantages:
—    Utilizes actual representative tasks.
—    Provides insights into the user’s reasoning.
•    Disadvantages:
—    May be difficult to get users to think out loud.
•    Guidelines:
—    Develop:
•    Several core or representative tasks.
•    Tasks of particular concern.
—    Limit session to 60 to 90 minutes.

b)Discuss the need and importance of Prototypes.    (16)importance of Prototypes

There are several advantages to producing a prototype of your product before going on to production. The first and most obvious is that a having prototype allows you to see the actual product assembled. It allows you to check the design, to touch it and see how the whole thing fits together. If there are any problems or design flaws you can then make the changes you require.

It allows you to see the finished product, it’s structure, design and colours. It allows you to develop an impression of the product that 2D and 3D drawings no matter how accurate can never provide.

Prototypes allow you to test the structure and function. Imagine if you spend all the money it costs to produce a mold and start production of your product without first having a prototype produced only to find that there is some fatal flaw and the whole project was for nothing. Prototypes allow you to offset this financial risk. Although they may sometimes seem an expensive luxury in the long run a prototype could save you a lot more money.

Prototypes are also a useful tool for generating interest and investment in your idea. A lot of companies will not even entertain you without a prototype. If you have something to show potential investors, something tangible, a prototype they are much more likely to be excited about your product and invest. If you only have a few drawings scribled however neatly and accurately on a piece of paper you are selling yourself short, imagine the impact you could have with a fully functional prototype.Do You Need a Prototype to Patent an Invention?

Many inventors wonder if they need a prototype prior to patenting an invention.  The simple answer is "no'.  A prototype is not required prior to filing a patent application with the U.S. Patent Office.

While prototypes can be valuable in developing your invention, they can also be costly. Considering that a licensee of your patent rights will most likely redesign your product, developing a costly prototype is not required and in some situations may actually not be feasible.  If a prototype can be constructed without spending a lot of money, then prototyping your invention can be a very good first step with the invention process.

Balance the Benefits/Costs of Prototyping Your Invention

To determine if you should prototype your invention, you need to consider both the costs and benefits of prototyping your idea.  If the costs are too great, then you should consider an alternative path.  Below are the benefits and costs of prototyping:

i.    Benefits of Prototyping

•    Work out any potential design problems.•    Identify alternative solutions that may work.•    The prototype can be useful in marketing the invention to third-parties.

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