euristics/user notes to follow

brad hokanson (
Tue, 24 Feb 98 22:06:58 -0600

From: "brad hokanson" <>
Subject: euristics/user notes to follow
Message-Id: <>
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 98 22:06:58 -0600

Simple and Natural Dialog

Each of the screens has a lot of written information on it. Some screens have a
lot of text. Logically, or ironically, this graphic user interface has a lot of
text in use. None of it seems irrelevant.

General: The Order of the ongoing dialog between the user and the interface is
the structure that designs the interface. Tasks go from left to right, as does
reading in this culture. One can visually check off tasks as one moves through
the process of creating a HTML archive.

Expanding the context of this idea, the visual information on the screen needs
to be clear and understandable. Our project is not yet successful in this; it's
busy and very active.

Speak the Users Language
The project seems to be in real English. The only system specific terms are
filter, processing, archives which could be defined better.

Minimize User Memory Load

Lots of the things are tied to default text strings and are located in the input
boxes; Browse buttons are also used to minimize user memory load. Some of the
things that are brought from one section to another may need to be retrieved.
Going back to check settings may occur, but not going back and copying or
remembering the location of the archive or mailbox; those things aren't carried

Nothing has to be remembered from the front end to the back end.

Be Consistent

The Tabs remain consistent through the entire project.
There is less consistency through each page of the project, but that may not be
a major factor in success.

Provide Feedback
Feedback, particularly at the end is light. The consistency test at the end
poses a question: why do we have to go through the project and mailbox cards at
the front?

If you input the information you need, then the results of that should show up
at the end. That may be a problem in terms of switching back and forth.

Provide Clearly Marked Exits

Not only are there clearly marked exits, there are clearly marked halls, stairs,
and restrooms. These are always visible and marked.

Provide Shortcuts

Both are extremely easy, but both may leave some clarity in explanation to be
desired. the context sensitive help should help, but

Good Error Messages
Haven't found any error messages. The thing runs without?

Prevent Errors.

Some of the features have been turned off when they aren't possible. This tends
to limit errors. The user can't click on generate without having made the
rudimentary selections unless they are sending stuff from and taking mail from
the default answers.

Application of some of the higher end features of the project a)may not be
implemented at this time, and b) will tend to cause some confusion.

Brad Hokanson
Department of Design Housing and Apparel
University of Minnesota