Designing for People: Communicating Effectively with Interaction

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Presentation to the Lone Star chapter of STC in March 2002.

Transcript of Designing for People: Communicating Effectively with Interaction

  • 1. 1 9 9 5-20 0 2 Andre a L. Am e sDesigning forPeople!Communicating Effectivelywith InteractionAndrea L. AmesSenior Information Developer, IBMSTC Candidate for Second VicePresidentCertificate Coordinator and Instructor,University of CA Extension, Santa CruzAssociate Fellow andAssistant to the President for Recognition,Society for Technical Communication

2. 1995-2002 Andrea L. Ames2About Andrea Technical communicator since 1983 Online information and human-computer interaction focussince 1989 Areas of expertise Information architecture and design and interaction design User-centered design and development process and start-to-finishusabilityanalysis, design, testing Focus: Software product user interfaces and interactiveinformation systems, including Web Coordinator of two University of California, Santa Cruz,Extension technical communication certificates Associate Fellow and Member of Society for TechnicalCommunication (STC) Board of Directors 3. 1995-2002 Andrea L. Ames3Discussion Topics Why technical communicators (should) careabout interaction Characteristics of interaction Common interaction mechanisms Things that bug us Skills and knowledge technicalcommunicators need to design effectiveinteraction Resources 4. 1995-2002 Andrea L. Ames4Why You Should Be Concerned WithInteractionShouldnt be a big surpriseyouveprobably been concerned withinteraction for a long timeCommunicates the organization,access mechanisms, andmeaning of textDevelop structures to make this easierTech Communication and Interaction 5. 1995-2002 Andrea L. Ames5Interaction CharacteristicsThink of it as a conversationThink of it as information/assistanceThink of it as organization (navigation)Characteristics of Interaction 6. 1995-2002 Andrea L. Ames6Thinkof Interaction As Conversation Make it useful, helpful, and polite Alan Cooper, The Inm ate s are Running theAsylum H. Paul Grice (psychologist), regardingconversation Quality: Say true things Quantity: Say neither too muchnor too little Relevance: Say things that relate tothe topic at hand Clarity: Say things clearly and wellCharacteristics of Interaction Conversation 7. 1995-2002 Andrea L. Ames7Thinkof Interaction as InformationHelping users to minimize errorBeing visiblehelping users to makeinformed choices about where to go orwhat to do nextProviding responses, so users knowthey did the right thing and areencouraged to continueCharacteristics of Interaction Information 8. 1995-2002 Andrea L. Ames8Thinkof Interaction as Organization:NavigationAvoid it (the fewer clicks, the better)Provides a way for users to makechoices, refining contentSuggests structure andorganization; closelylinked with informationarchitecture and filearchitectureCharacteristics of Interaction Organization/Navigation 9. 1995-2002 Andrea L. Ames9Navigation Provides ContextTells me:Where I am and possibly how I got hereWhere Ive been and how I can getbackWhere I can go from here and how I canget thereHow to get back to the beginningCharacteristics of Interaction Organization/Navigation 10. 1995-2002 Andrea L. Ames10Common Interaction Mechanisms Navigation mechanisms Hiding and showingor expanding andcontractingtext Form elements Pop-ups or openinga new window Non-scrolling regions Coaches, show-mes, and demonstrationsInteraction Mechanisms 11. 1995-2002 Andrea L. Ames11Navigation Mechanisms Traditional access methods: TOCs,indexes Rollovers * Controlling the appearance of links * Pull-down or pop-up menus Menus and button bars **Visio Help TOCInteraction Mechanisms For Navigation 12. 1995-2002 Andrea L. Ames12Hiding/Showing, Expanding/CollapsingResolves some topic-length issuesHides details until theyre neededCombines information for printing*Visio Help Create Basic FlowchartInteraction Mechanisms Expanding/Collapsing Text 13. 1995-2002 Andrea L. Ames13FormElements Take advantage of GUIstandards/heuristics May be very familiar tousers of particularsoftware/OS platform(e.g., Mac or Windows) May no t be familiarInteraction Mechanisms FormElements 14. 1995-2002 Andrea L. Ames14Pop-Ups orOpening a New WindowHelps manage screen real estateIndicates sub-processesHides details, background, etc., untilwanted/neededDefinitions*Visio Help Creating Basic FlowchartInteraction Mechanisms Opening New Windows 15. (c) 1995-2002 Andrea L. Ames15Non-Scrolling RegionsSupports navigationKeeps menus, etc., persistent (alwaysvisible)*Visio Help Getting StartedInteraction Mechanisms Non-Scrolling Regions 16. 1995-2002 Andrea L. Ames16Coaches, Show-mes,and DemonstrationsLink together product and helpTypically very tightly integrated, butcan be more like self-running demoGive user control over all aspects ofrunning/not running*Visio Help Getting StartedInteraction Mechanisms Coaches, Show-mes, Demos 17. 1995-2002 Andrea L. Ames17Dont Do Things That Bug UsBlinkingGratuitous animation and multimediaRude, obscure, andinconsistent behaviorInterrupting tasksThings That Bug Us 18. 1995-2002 Andrea L. Ames18More Things That Bug Us Too much scrolling Too many clicks Frames Might take up screen real estate Might slow display speed Dont fit with page/screen modelconfusing Add layer of complexity Cant bookmark content pages within framesThings That Bug Us 19. 1995-2002 Andrea L. Ames19Where to Go FromHere Cognitive psychology (how people learnand remember), human factors, usability,and user-centered development processes Audience analysis Info rm e d design Validation/evaluation (including usability testing) Information architecture and design,modular writing, and minimalism Visual design User-interface designSkills and Knowledge 20. 1995-2002 Andrea L. Ames20Learning the Skills andGaining the Knowledge Bentley College online courses in informationdesign: www.bentley.eduNo te : Mo st o f the big /we ll-kno wn scho o ls no w have o nlinepro g ram s: Te xas Te ch, Univ. o f Washing to n, RPI, Me rce rUnive rsity, e tc. Christchurch (NZ) Polytechnic Instituteof Technologys Graduate Diploma ofTechnical Communication:courseweb.chchpoly.ac.nz:8083/techwrit/ HTML Writers Guide (HWG) online courses inWeb-based technologies: www.hwg.org University of California, Los Angeles, Extensionprogram in technical communication:www.unex.ucla.eduResources 21. 1995-2002 Andrea L. Ames21Print Books and Articles Beyer, Hugh and Karen Holtzblatt,Co nte xtualDe sig n: ACusto m e r-Ce nte re dAppro ach to Syste m s De sig n Constantine, Larry and LucyLockwood, So ftware fo r Use :APracticalGuide to the Mo de lsand Me tho ds o f Usag e -Ce nte re d De sig n Coe, Marlana, Hum an Facto rs fo r Te chnicalCo m m unicato rsResources 22. 1995-2002 Andrea L. Ames22Print Books and Articles (cont.) Cooper, Alan, The Inm ate s Are Running theAsylum Farkas, David and Jean, Principle s o fWe bsite De sig n Fleming, Jennifer, We b Navig atio n Hackos, JoAnn and Janice (Ginny) Redish,Use r and Task Analysis fo r Inte rface De sig n Johnson, Jeff, GUIBlo o pe rs: Do nts andDo s fo r So ftware De ve lo pe rs and We bDe sig ne rs. Krug, Steve, Do nt Make Me ThinkResources 23. 1995-2002 Andrea L. Ames23Print Books and Articles (cont.) Nielsen, Jakob, De sig ning We b Usability:The Practice o f Sim plicity Normal, Don, The De sig n o f Eve rydayThing s and The Psycho lo g y o f Eve rydayThing s Price, Jonathan, Writing We b Te xt Raskin, Jef, The Hum ane Inte rface Redish, Janice C. and Judith A. Ramey,Special section: Measuring the value addedby professional technical communicators.Te chnicalCo m m unicatio n, 42(1), 2/95Resources 24. 1995-2002 Andrea L. Ames24Web Sites (coming soon!) Andrea AmesTechCommResource site:techcommresource.alames.net/ Ask Tog: www.asktog.com C|Net Builders cool tools: www.builder.com IBMs Ease of Use site: www.ibm.com/easy/ Jakob Nielsens site: www.useit.com uidesign.net Interaction DesignWebzine: www.uidesign.net Usable Web: www.usableweb.comResources 25. 1995-2002 Andrea L. Ames25Professional OrganizationsACMs SIGCHI(www.acm.org/chi/)STCs Usability SIG(www.stc.org/pics/usability/)Usability Professionals Association(UPA) (www.upassoc.org)Resources 26. 1995-2002 Andrea L. Ames26Contacting Andrea andFinding This Presentation Onlinee-mail: aames@pobox.comphone: 408.463.3793web: techcommresource.alames.net