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
     Metaphor:


     (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




     Affordances:




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


     Constraints:




     Example:  File folder icon in desktop metaphor
          Affordances:







          Constraints:





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