Human-Computer Interaction: Ergonomics and User Interfaces - Vol. 1

By Hans-Jörg Bullinger; Jürgen Ziegler | Go to book overview

Good Things in Small Packages: User-interface Design for Baby Faces in Devices and Appliances for Y2K and Beyond

Aaron Marcus, John Armitage, Volker Frank, and Edward Guttman
Aaron Marcus and Associates, Inc., 1144 65th Street, Suite F, Emeryville, CA
94608-1053 USA;Tel:+1-510-601-0994x19, Fax:+1-510-547-6125
Email: Aaron@AmandA.com, Web: http://www.AMandA.com.


1
Introduction

User-interface and information-visualization (UI+IV) development for small displays ("baby faces", Marcus 1998) attempts to solve constraints that are relevant for many consumer devices and appliances. This equipment must be useful (easy access to data and functions that are easy to comprehend, remember, and use) and appealing. High-quality UI+IVs, whose content and form are so much dependent upon optimum visible language (e.g., typography, color, symbolism, layout, etc.) and effective interaction with controls, improves the likelihood that users will be more productive and satisfied with computerbased products in many situations beyond the traditional office desktop. The success of products with "baby faces" for home, work, and travel seem to make it imperative that UI+IV designers analyze the subject of baby-face design carefully. The dimensions of this analysis are the traditional ones of UI+IV development: The user-centered, task-oriented development process for UI+IV design includes planning, research (user demographics, user tasks, user context, and marketing/engineering requirements), analysis, design, implementation, evaluation, documentation, and training. The UI+IV design components are metaphors, mental models, navigation, interaction, and appearance. This paper comments on some of likely changes and challenges in these topics.


2
Development Process

Planning, Research, and Analysis: The baby-face development process routinely may differ significantly from the development process for more traditional client-server productivity tools and office desktop Web applications for several reasons. The use contexts of desktop equipment is more established,

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