Database Interface Design Usability - PowerPoint

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					Database Interface Design &
LIBR 557 Group Presentation
Agathe Holowatinc, Yolanda Koscielski, Cindy Mack & Katherine Parker

  “A well-designed user interface is
       based on principles and
     a development process that
              centers on
        users and their tasks.”
             - Microsoft Corporation, 1995
Topics Covered
   Definitions, History & Milestones
   Key concepts
       Group exercise

   Design Challenges
       Game

   Implications & New Approaches
Database Interface Design:
“So What?”
   A lot of information today is found in web-
    based indexes & databases
   Many web-based databases are key to
    personal, scholarly, professional research in
   Many have largely replaced their paper-
    based predecessors
   An online database is useless without a
    good user interface
Definition & Orientation
A User-Centric Design Approach
   A user interface is an interface through
    which the user receives some stimuli and
    provides some response
   The user is the target of the information
    and the driver of the system
   Putting the user at the center of the design
    approach greatly improves the chances of
    creating an intuitive, efficient, and effective
   UI Design Mantra: “Know Thy User”
Human Factors Goals
Human Factors Engineering is based on
  3 goals:
1.   Provide an interface that is intuitive to
     the user
2.   Provide the user with the easiest
     interaction possible
3.   Help users complete their tasks
Interaction Designer:
A Job Description (
   Working with multidisciplinary development teams,
    you will spearhead user interface design in
    conceptualization, design, and development of Oracle
   Responsibilities include identifying requirements,
    developing user models, designing and prototyping UI
    for interaction, developing and maintaining UI
    specifications and guidelines, and communicating with
    development teams to evangelize UI design directions
    and resolve design tradeoffs and implementation
   You will collaborate closely with usability specialists to
    conduct necessary front-end research and support
    usability efforts throughout the product development
    cycle. Also, you will work closely with visual designers
    to achieve optimal visual appearance of products.
   You will mentor associate user interface designers and
    student interns.
Definition & Orientation
What is a highly usable database
   Intuitive
   Transparent
   Supports users and allows them to
    accomplish their goals quickly,
    efficiently and easily
In contrast, poor usability…
   Means that people using your database
    cannot efficiently perform the tasks you
   Can come from overly complex databases
   Can lead to large numbers of errors
   Can mean that people just don’t like using
    your system
   If the next steps are not obvious, users will
    spend time trying to figure them out
   Users may make mistakes or may just
    leave your database with a bad feeling
Brief History

   A Very Brief History of User Interface Design
                               Topic Introduced by Air force

             1990's                        2000                           Today
         It gets Hot -           Since 1975, the number        It's become one of the most
     Several IR systems          of databases has grown        important criteria for judging
develop web-based operations         by the thousands                    software
Major Milestones
   IR systems have traditionally been the
    domain of librarians and information
   Web-based online systems open a new
    avenue for end users to retrieve
   The web has made online information
    searching more accessible to naive users
   The trend in IR system design is to design
    for end-users rather than the once
    targeted professional intermediaries
Key Concepts - Design Process
 Competitive analysis
 User task analysis
 Formative evaluation
 Heuristic evaluation
 Prototyping and Iterative design
Key Concepts    

                  Think of all users

                          Visibility and consistency

Lessen need for memory
Design Concepts
(Zabed, McKnight, & Oppenheim, 2006)
   Strive for consistency: layout/colours
   Support both novice and experienced
   Make interface actions visible to the
   Assist users in refining the search
   Simple error handling
Design Concepts           cont’d

   Offer informative feedback

   Permit easy reversal of actions

   Avoid complex navigation

    Reduce short term memory load:
    recognition rather than recall
Key Concepts
   Group exercise: Heuristic analysis

    Children’s Literature Comprehensive
    Database evaluation - How user
    centered is it?
Design Challenges

         A User Interface is
       a Medium for Dialogue
Design Challenges
   Verbal Communication Model (Wong,
Design Challenges
   User Interface as Medium for
Design Challenges
   System-Centered Dialogue:
     Command based
     User learns database language/model
   User-Centered Dialogue (=goal):
     Interactive
     User and database share language/
Design Challenges
For User-Centered Dialogue
   Environmental

   User-Centered

   Conceptual
Design Challenges
Environmental Challenges:
     Process is more time consuming -
      limited resources (e.g. cost, time)
        Lack   of user testing
   Lack of research
   Rapid technology development
        Multiplenon-standard formats of content
         and platforms
        No standard methodology (e.g. metadata)

     Scale (i.e. more users, more designers)
Design Challenges
User-Centered Challenges:
     More users = different user needs
                 accessibility (e.g. lack of design
        Universal
     Unrealistic expectations
        Instantand relevant results (e.g. Google)
        No responsibility for dialogue

     Bad searchers
        Poor search strategies (or none)
        Poor evaluation of results
Design Challenges
Conceptual Challenges:
     Target mental model
       “Know  Thy User”
       What users say ≠ What users do
       e.g. Cultural user interfaces (CUI)
       Evolving, moving target

   Learning styles (e.g. visual, auditory &
   Language
Design Challenges
   Find the Squares   (Gametrailers Corp., 2008)
Design Challenges
   Hint   (Kraft Canada Inc., 2008)
Design Challenges
   Find the squares   (Gametrailers Corp., 2008)
The Future of Interface Design
Implications and future trends:

   Current Database Innovations
   Research Directions
   Accessibility Directions
The Future of Interface Design
   PRO: Database interface design benefits
    from a consistent structure of the corpus,
       Implication: a user’s searches may be more
        readily assisted via the interface, + enables
        somewhat exhaustive collocation of like items

   CON: Competing with aesthetics of search
    engines which offers better exploratory
    behavior, more hits, more visual
    interaction; permits more sloppiness
New Interfaces

Research on IR/IB
Studies on the user:
   In light of New Technological Environment (2008)
   Information behavior of the researcher of the
       There are “clear differences in information-seeking
        behaviour by subject, by gender, and by work role. It is
        increasingly clear that a one-size-fits all policy towards
        library or system design is not going to be effective”
       Library databases: bad combination of interfaces being
        too complex, and not well-marketed
       Suggests libraries will need to integrate their catalogues
        with search engines
       Predicts Semantic web will reach tipping point in 2013
   Incorporate 2.0 functions - RSS
    feeds, social tagging
   Faceted browsing and results viewing
   Visual search
   Feedback: spell check, stemming,
    suggested related results
       E.g. AquaBrowser Library Tool
Complication: The User
Studies on the user:
   Resnick & Vaughan (2006) paper:
       A user will display some durable search characteristics
        across some tasks, while other characteristics will vary
        depending on the search domain
       Unfamiliar domain = keywords, iterative search, use of
       Familiar domain = good system navigation
   Nov & Ye (2007) study:
       People have differing levels of the RTC characteristic—
        Resistance to Change
       Study: Low RTC = Low perceived ease of use of digital
Accessibility Directions
 Issue pertains to web applications in
 Disabilities to consider are wide-
     Hearing-related
     Vision-related
     Motor-physical
     Learning disabilities
Accessibility Directions
   W3C leadership:
       Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0

     2.0 is in progress
     Highlights of new version to come:
          Accompanied       by interpretive report
                Success criterion for meeting guidelines
                Minimum requirements to meet them
                Examples provided
Accessibility Directions
 Legal Initiatives
 Canada:
       Strong anti-discrimination laws; web
        accessibility laws not that specific
       Ontarians with Disabilities Act:
        “The Government of Ontario shall provide its
        internet sites in a format that is accessible to
        persons with disabilities, unless it is not
        technically feasible to do so.”
Accessibility Directions
   Canada Human Rights Act          (last updated 1977):

    "All individuals should have an equal opportunity
    with other individuals to make for themselves the
    lives that they are able and wish to have and to
    have their needs accommodated, consistent with
    their duties and obligations as members of society,
    without being hindered in or prevented from doing
    so by discriminatory practices based on race,
    national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex,
    sexual orientation, marital status, family status,
    disability or conviction for an offence for which a
    pardon has been granted".
Accessibility Directions
   International:
       US has section 508, which explicitly
        requires that people with disabilities
        have equal access to electronic systems
        - created by the government
       UK has SEDNA - Special Educational
        Needs and Disabilities Act for students
Accessibility Directions
   Assistive technology software and
    hardware will provide increased
       e.g. Jaws 9.0
   Tools for checking adaptability of
       e.g. (color blindness
        reaction and modification) (Byerley, Chambers
        & Thohira, 2007)
Future directions in interface design will
  have to consider:
     Appealing to users who prefer a search-
      engine aesthetic, using web 2.0
      functions, and browsing/exploratory
     Being inclusive to a wide range of people
      of people, including:
        Those  with disabilities
        Those with different levels of subject
        Those with different personality variables