CS252. User Interface Design

Lecture Outline for Mar. 3
Helping Users Learn

1.     Introduction
     How users learn about software products

     How software design can facilitate learning

2.     Using Metaphors to Facilitate Learning

     (example from [Preece 1994])
     Metaphor elements:

     Metaphor relations:

     Metaphors facilitate learning

     Metaphors don't eliminate the need to learn new things

     Common GUI metaphors

3.     Important Attributes of Metaphors
     Explicitness is a fundamental attribute of an interface metaphor


          Norman's [1988] original definition: "the perceived properties of the thing ... that determine just
               how the thing could possibly be used."


     Example:  File folder icon in desktop metaphor


4.     Using Metaphors Effectively
     Metaphors shouldn't be too literal
          Example of calculator interfaces from Mullet and Sano [1995]

     Metaphors need to be reinforced by good spatial layouts
          Windows desktop uses hierarchy of drive/directory/file
          Example from Mullet and Sano [1995]
          Poor use of window layout confuses the relationships

          Better layout from Macintosh dialog puts things in the proper spatial relationship

     Composite Metaphors:
          A single metaphor isn't usually enough for a software product
          Example: desktop doesn't just use "desktop" elements