User Interfaces Spring 1998
Due April 23
Total points: 15
Submit to: email@example.com
Note: The final due date for this assignment is April 30, the last day of class. This is so I can discuss the solutions then.
1. (5 points) The following screens are from the kiosk application located at Penn Station that lets you buy tickets for New Jersey Transit trains. For input, the kiosk provides a numeric keypad, two buttons labelled Go Back and Cancel, and ten other buttons marked with arrows, five along each side of the screen. The meanings of these buttons are displayed on the screen in small rectangles.
2.(10 points) You are asked to design the user interface for an "electronic library" for a large corporation, an online repository of information about company documents such as memos, reports and so on.The system will have many thousands of users, all of whom have at least a basic familiarity with computers. Your system will run on standard hardware, e.g. PCs. Here is the functionality of the system:
Create an application-level design for this system's user interface. (You don't need to worry about what goes on behind the user interface -- obviously it is a front end to a database, but you need not be concerned with any of the technical or administrative details of that part of the system.) Your design should describe the windows of the system, when they appear and disappear, how users move among them, which are modal and which aren't, and so on. Although you should describe what information is in each window, you don't need to do detailed design such as layout or widget choice. You do need to consider how to handle errors and mistakes: when, if and how validation is done, how undo will work, etc.
Try to design a system that is both easy to use for beginners as well as fast and convenient for more experienced users. Explain your design choices in the terms we discussed in class: closure, risk, freedom, constraint, fast paths, etc. If you feel you need to make other assumptions about the use of the system to complete the design, go right ahead, but make sure you document them. You should not write any code--just text and, if you wish, diagrams. Email your assignment to the TA listed above, or bring it to class.