Rob Kremer


Practical Software Engineering

Human Factors

Design Guidelines

Graphical User Interfaces

WIMPs/GUIs -- e.g. Macintosh/ MSWindows desktop

These have:

Advantages Disadvantages

Direct manipulation (e.g. mouse)

Advantages Disadvantages

Desktop metaphor

Advantages Disadvantages

Menu systems

Advantages Disadvantages Types

Command interfaces (prompt-response)

Advantages Disadvantages

Error message design

Often a user's first impression of a system comes from its error messages.

Messages should be:

They should not make the user feel stupid, embarrassed, frustrated, or imply it is the user's problem.

They should:

Xerox Star

Star was introduced in 1981, it was the forerunner of the Macintosh.

Based on a physical office or desktop metaphor.

It is a multifunctional system combining document creation, data processing, electronic filing, mailing, and printing.

It adheres to a small set of design principles which make it seem familiar and friendly, simplify the HCI, unify its functions and allow transfer of experience.

Aim is to minimize modes of interaction, e.g.:

Star has:

Principles of the Star User Interface

User Interface Management Systems

UIMSs are powerful development tools, providing prototyping capabilities, control over interface standards, and productivity enhancements.

Some UIMS allow porting to other platforms e.g. Open Interface, XVT.

Neuron Data Open Interface


UofC Practical Software Engineering, Department of Computer Science

Rob Kremer