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Measures of User-System Interface Effectiveness: Assessment of Structured Judgment Evaluation Techniques for Graphical, Direct- Manipulation Style Interfaces

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The results of the second phase of the MITRE sponsored research project on developing measures of user-system interface effectiveness are presented. This project is concerned with developing methods and measures of user-system interface effectiveness for command and control systems with graphical, direct manipulation style interfaces. Due to the increased use of user interface prototyping during concept definition and demonstrationvalidation phases, the opportunity exists for human factors engineers to apply evaluation methodologies early enough in the life cycle to make an impact on system design. Understanding and improving user-system interface USI evaluation techniques is critical to this process. In 1986, Norman proposed a descriptive stages of user activity model of human-computer interaction HCI. Hutchins, Hollin, and Norman 1986 proposed concepts of measures based on the model which would assess the directness of the engagements between the user and the interface at each stage of the model. This phase of our research program involved applying three USI evaluation techniques to a single interface, and assessing which, if any, provided information on the directness of engagement at each stage of Normans model. We also classified the problem types identified according to the Smith and Mosier 1986 functional areas. The three techniques used were cognitive walkthrough, heuristic evaluation, and guidelines.

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  • Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems
  • Command, Control and Communications Systems

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