Throughout the tutorial your awareness of human–computer interaction (HCI) and its importance to your task as a systems analyst has grown. While awareness is important, by now you recognize that you need to master the concepts surrounding HCI as well as become proficient at assessing human information requirements and incorporating your findings into your designs. Furthermore, the European Union (EU) and the United States have come forth with specific guidelines for usability.These guidelines mandate making Web sites and electronic services accessible to the able-bodied and disabled alike.
This chapter fills in some of the details about HCI and working with users. It also gives you some experience in applying HCI concepts that you have been learning to help in your design of human–computer interfaces; feedback, ecommerce Web sites, and Web queries.
We have examined human–computer interaction (HCI), a variety of interfaces, designing the user interface, designing user feedback, and designing ecommerce Web site feedback and navigation. We focused on understanding HCI to ensure the functionality and usability of computer systems we design. When analysts create a proper fit among the HCI elements of the human, the computer, and the task, it leads to improved performance and overall psychological and physical well-being of the individual.
Designs focus on developing a proper fit. Analysts can use the TAM (Technology Acceptance Model) to organize their thinking about whether users will accept technology and eventually use it, by examining perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use from the users’ perspective.
Usability identifies what works for users and what does not. Physical considerations of HCI design include vision, hearing, and touch. Physical disabilities and limitations should be taken into consideration during task and interface design. Avariety of user interfaces and input devices are possible. Some interfaces are particularly well suited to inexperienced users, whereas others are better suited to experienced users. Combine interfaces such as drop-down menus and graphical interfaces for increased effectiveness. The Web has posed new challenges for designers, because the user is not known.
Users’ need for feedback from the system is also an important consideration. Feedback is most often visual, with text, graphics, or icons the most common. Audio feedback can also be effective. Improve functionality of Web sites by eliciting customer feedback through automatic email feedback buttons or by including blank feedback forms on the Web site. Four important navigation design strategies improve the stickiness of ecommerce Web sites: (1) rollover menus, (2) hierarchical displays of links on the entry screen, (3) site maps, and (4) navigation bars that provide one-click navigation.
Queries are designed to allow users to extract meaningful data from the database. There are six basic types of queries, and they can be combined using Boolean logic to form more complex queries. Query by example and SQL are two common ways to query database systems.
Once you have mastered the material in this chapter you will be able to:
- Understand human–computer interaction (HCI).
- Design a variety of user interfaces.
- Design effective dialog for HCI.
- Understand the importance of user feedback.
- Articulate HCI implications for designing ecommerce Web sites.
- Formulate queries that permit users to search the Web.