Human-Computer Interaction: Communication, Cooperation, and Application Design

By Hans-Jörg Bullinger; Jürgen Ziegler | Go to book overview
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Figure 1. Based on Tang ( 1991) presentation, the user study approach has mainly this purpose.

The definition of user profile is important in a user study. And so is also a task analysis attempting to state the needs, e.g. what the user/operator is actually going to do with the product/system in question. The objective of ergonomics is to achieve the best possible match between the product and its users in the context of both the (working) task ( Pheasant 1996) and the whole contextual system. An effective user study is an important basic tool for preventing mismatch, and hence for promoting usability. Ergonomic usability studies help to elaborate the concepts initially identified through a requirement analysis supported by user studies (Fig. 2).

Figure 2. A rationalistic design model is shown in the middle of the figure ( Cohill 1991, Simon 1969). The model was supported by both ergonomic knowledge (left) and ergonomic methods (right).

Design iterations are often needed in addition to the initial usability studies of the first prototype. Thus, iteration, often with "rapid prototyping", is an essential feature of modern user-centred design. A user trial is an experimental investigation in which a group of users tests versions of the product under

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Human-Computer Interaction: Communication, Cooperation, and Application Design
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