Lessons from Windows 95/98
Jian Wang, Dejiang Fu, Zhaoxia Jin and Shaosheng Li
State Lab of Human Factors, Department of Psychology
Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310028 China
With the introduction of graphical user interface and internet browser, user interface is becoming an integral part of software system and web site. User interface is facing a big challenge that never had before since software and the web site is available internationally. One thing we have to do is the localization of user interface, translating the text items (prompts, status indication and help) into local language like Chinese. But Chinese user interface is more than just the translations. A detail user interface analysis of Chinese Windows 95/98 is conducted as a case study for the purpose of exploring the design methodology of Chinese user interface. No intention is made to do a complete usability evaluation of Chinese Windows 95/98. Major user interface problems identified in Chinese Windows 95/98 are valuable for formulating design methodology of Chinese user interface. The experience from Chinese user interface design for Motorola is also briefly reviewed. The analysis and experience have general implications for the user interface design in other cultural in Asia.
A heuristic evaluation method ( Nielsen 1994) was used for the cheaper and fast analysis of Chinese Windows 95/98 user interface. Three evaluators participated to inspect the interface. No communication is allowed among evaluators before they have been completed the inspection. Their finds were aggregated in a series of discussions late.____________________