User Interface Design for Embedded Systems
Bad usability engineering cost real money ...
- Bad usability in one printer product led to $500,000 worth of support calls per month.
of consumer electronics returns are ‘No-Fault-Found’. In many cases,
they are just too hard to use, or the consumer sets it up incorrectly.
Bad usability engineering costs real lives ...
- Over one third of medical device incident reports to the FDA involve use error.
(sources for statements above)
systems become more sophisticated, making new features intuitive
is a huge challenge. This course teaches the software engineer
or user interface designer the skills required to design a new
user interface or recognise where an existing interface can be
improved. The class strikes a balance between concrete topics
such as menus and icons, and providing the student with general
principles for good design, such as direct manipulation and task
and non-graphical interfaces are considered, and examples discussed
include industrial equipment, medical equipment and consumer devices.
slides, with commentary are available for the icons
and equal opportunity sections
of this course.
magazine articles, authored by the course presenter, can be found
at Usability Articles.
DEFINITIONS AND PRINCIPLES
and undirected interfaces
SPECIFYING THE USER INTERFACE
- Requirements - language of specification
- Requirements as principles and requirements
for specific cases
- Requirements relationship with previous
products and competitors
- Walkthroughs - paper based, prototype
based, whiteboard based.
DEFINING THE USER
- Theory X and Theory Y
- User motivations and options
- Trusting the user
- Industrial vs. commercial vs. consumer
- Pacing and Timing
- Layout of GUI relative to other
controls - arrow keys, touchscreen, soft-keys
- Graphical input and direct manipulation
- Use of color and grayscales
- Graphical idioms on the desktop
that rarely work on embedded devices
- Imitating mechanical controls on
- Dividing the display into windows
- Wizards for user input
- Moving graphs and other animations
- Displays with very little physical
- Text input (without a standard keyboard)
to draw icons
- Use on graphics screen versus print
on device. Use as input vs. use as output
- Reinforcing icons. Drawing attention
to the important part of an icon.
- Prototyping environments - PC packages
- How the development environment
can influence the result
- User trials with prototypes - hazards
- Disadvantage of software in the
- Imitating controls on pre-software
- Layout of controls and displays
- Multi-Threaded interfaces
- User Error messages
- Undo operations
- Inputs that are temporarily wrong
during the data input
- Online help - pros and cons
- System failures
- Alarms and alerting users attention
- Barographs, linegraphs and other
- Distance viewing
- Perceived and real accuracy
- Minimalist views versus heavily
- Testing the interface is different
to testing the software
- User Trials
- Interpreting user feedback