CS252. User Interface Design

Review Questions - Chapter 4

Terms to Know

physical characteristics
cognitive characteristics     
requirements capture
usability specification
iterative design
descriptive prototype
visual prototype (paper prototype)   
interactive prototype
"Wizard of Oz" prototype


  1. Describe a situation in software interfaces where differences in physical characteristics cause usability problems. What could a designer do to accommodate these differences?

  2. From your experiences with software products, give three examples of how cognitive characteristics can affect user satisfaction with a software product.

  3. You have been asked to survey users who are representative of the planned target for a new software product, an automatic translation facility that translates written text from Spanish to English or vice versa.
    (a) If there are no existing software products of this type, how can you find "representative users"? Describe what you would do.
    (b) List five cognitive characteristics you would want to include among your example users. (If it helps, imagine that the planned software will do.)

  4. Why is the process referred to as requirements "capture"?

  5. List three reasonable user requirements for the automatic translation software.

  6. For any one of the user requirements you just identified, define two usability criteria that could be tested empirically.

  7. What is the difference between a descriptive prototype, a visual prototype, an interactive prototype, and a "Wizard of Oz" prototype? For each, describe 1-2 featurs of the automatic translation software that could be evaluated using that particular class of prototype.