Browse Prior Art Database

Quality Control Mechanism for Computer User Interface Design

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000104299D
Original Publication Date: 1993-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-19
Document File: 2 page(s) / 56K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Hanna, P: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Disclosed is a method for capturing objective information about the usability of an online computer application. It involves having the operating system maintain records of the number of times each panel is displayed as well as the number of times the user presses the help key while it is displayed. This statistical information is then consolidated and transmitted back to the application designers.

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Quality Control Mechanism for Computer User Interface Design

      Disclosed is a method for capturing objective information about
the usability of an online computer application.  It involves having
the operating system maintain records of the number of times each
panel is displayed as well as the number of times the user presses
the help key while it is displayed.  This statistical information is
then consolidated and transmitted back to the application designers.

      The quality of the user interface in a data processing system
is difficult to establish objectively.  What a programmer may
consider to be a logical panes design and conversation structure may
in fact be confusing or error-prone.  Even if standards are developed
and followed, there is no easy way to determine if they are
appropriate in every case.  The user's perception of the quality and
usability of a system may not conform to the assumptions upon which
the standards are based.  There is typically a lack of feedback that
might allow the interface standards to be calibrated.

      The assumption is made that the best designs are those in which
the function is self-evident.  From the standpoint of human factors
engineering, all other things being equal, one design is considered
to be better than another if:

1.  A novice user is able to navigate through the basic function
    without extensive training.
2.  An experienced user is able to perform more complicated tasks
    correctly the first time.
3.  Extensive user documentation is not...