Fundamental Principles of HCI Design

Topics: User interface, Graphical user interface, Personal computer Pages: 5 (1367 words) Published: January 23, 2014

Fundamental Principles of HCI Design

I will be describing the principles of HCI and Interface Design, giving examples of each of them in use. I will also be talking about perception (including colour, luminance, Pattern, Pop Out Effect and Gestalt Laws), behaviour models (including Predictive Modelling, KLM, throughput and Fitts Law, descriptive modelling (including KAM, Buxton’s model and Guiard’s model) and Schneiderman’s 8 Golden Rules.

Schneiderman’s 8 Golden Rules

Eight rules have been created by a person called Ben Schneiderman which was in a document called “Designing the human interface”. These 8 rules derive from a collection of principles and personal experiences that have been collected, refined, extended and improved upon till 8 rules were finalised. Perception

Perception will be different for both the developers and the users. Users won’t understand the smaller details in the graphical user interface and the importance of the location of aspects and the colours used in the graphical user interface on the desktop and how these could affect the use of the programs. So everyone involved in the project including designs and programmers must entirely understand the wants of the client and ensure they have the same perception. Colour

Colours are very important and designs must take this into considering when creating the graphical user interface, big companies like Microsoft invest money into finding out about colours and the effect it has on people and they found that the colour grey is a dull colour and doesn’t attract much attention so they use this as the main colour in their products (often background colours) and then for drop down menus they use colours like blue which stand out but aren’t irritating to look at and read off, if you compared the grey colour and instead used red as the background colour for menus and panels it would be very annoying to look at. Also medical conditions must be taken into consideration for people who cannot look at certain colours or find it difficult seeing certain colours such medical issues could be like Irlen syndrome as well as dyslexia. Luminance

It is widely accepted that the cells in the retina of the eye take signals which take the form of three colours; red/green, yellow/blue and black/white. They’re known as opponent colour channels because they transmit opposite colours. To offer the best contrast it is vital display the best detail luminance contrast.

Pop-out effect
When you have many different items together such as images, colours, text and layouts it can make it difficult to make certain things stand out so adjusting them differently can make them stand out. The pop-out effect is also known as the “Pre-attentive processing theory”. Our eyes can detect the three colours mentioned earlier but the eyes can be tricked into thinking that more than one of them colours have been used. Flashing lights on images and text can further help items stand out. Pattern

Designers create templates of patterns something the users might not actually notice and instead mistake for as an image for an example in Microsoft the dialog boxes are templates but look like images to the untrained eye. 1

Strive for consistency
Throughout the design ensure that whatever it is that happens it is consistent and the actions should remain similar this includes menus, prompts and help screens. Commands too should remain consistent in how they are named. 2

Enable frequent users to use shortcuts
Use shortcuts to perform certain actions with less interaction, example could be abbreviations for works, functions keys or hidden commands. 3
Offer informative feedback
For all actions taken there should be some sort of feedback from the system, for less important actions or smaller actions the feedback doesn’t have to be much but for big actions the feedback must be sufficient enough. 4

Design dialog to yield closure
Actions must be structured properly with a...
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