Task Analysis and User Interface Design
Using Operation Flowcharts
Managing Director, Chief Designer of User Interface Design Dept., NOVAS
The method of user interface design introduced here is a design technique actively utilizing operation flowcharts. This technique attempts to determine usability logically and visually by describing all the elements forming usability on operation flowcharts. By taking examples from 15 development project cases performed to date, the concept of flowcharts, the methods of describing them and the effects of introduction of the technique will be reported.
Problem 1: Naturally, designing a user interface is to consider a design from the standpoint of end users by thoroughly understanding the operation requirements of the customer. In examining user-centered usability, it is desirable that designers should speculate what users may consider or desire as much as possible, but there are no methods established to date in which designers can experience users' positions, which is one of the factors that makes reflection of users' desire for usability difficult.
Problem 2: To solve more fundamental problems of usability or examine more complicated usability in detail, the conventional method for description relying on screen transition diagrams and flowcharts is still insufficient. This is because technical ready-made ideas and limitations often penetrate into prototype screen images and flowcharts produced in the early stage of development.