CS252. User Interface Design

Review Questions - Chapter 2 in Jordan text

Terms to Know

domain knowledge  
system potential
critical path
mental workload  
qualitative analysis
quantitative analysis


  1. What is ISO's formal definition of usability?

  2. Compare and contrast effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction by giving examples of each from your experiences with software interfaces.

  3. What does the author mean when he says (at the bottom of page 8) that the issue of users' previous experience "can somtimes lead to something of a dilemma for the designer of a new product"?

  4. Give two examples of software features (other than the language used for commands, messages, and text strings) that might prove problematical for users from other cultural backgrounds.

  5. Give two examples of the software features (other than the use of graphics in interfaces) that might prove problematical for users with disabilities.

  6. Why do menu-based interfaces provide better guessability than command-line interfaces?

  7. The terms "ease-of-learning" and "ease-of-use" are often used to describe software usability. To which one(s) of the author's "components of usability" does each term refer?

  8. What is the difference between experienced user performance and system potential? Give at least two examples from GUIs that clearly show the difference.

  9. What does the author mean by "reusability"? Why is it important for software interfaces?

  10. Is each of the following examples from word processing software a test of effectiveness, or of efficiency? Justify each answer.

  11. Give an example where mental workload might lead to a catastrophic error with a software package.