Topic: mental models, consistency, and interface metaphors

topics > computer science > Group: user interface

desktop metaphor for user interfaces
direct engagement and theater in a user interface
ease of learning
identifying the user interface with the system
models of reality
software models of reality
spatial metaphor in user interfaces
understanding systems
user interface design
Subtopic: mental model up

Quote: we need an external model to portray the properties of a complex system; the model itself is a system [»handP_1981]
Quote: a mental model allows you to predict behavior in novel situations and allows you to understand current behavior [»normDA_1988]
Quote: the mechanisms of scholarship, arts, transactions are based on physical objects that can't slide, fold, shrink, or become transparent [»nelsTH_1974]
Quote: mental models are pervasive; they help predict and explain interactions [»normDA_1986]
Quote: use paper solutions to capture mental plans; as transformed into a programming language [»paneJF2_2001]

Subtopic: data model up

Quote: the data model underlying an interactive system determines its 'look and feel' [»akscRM7_1988a]
Quote: virtual-window UI creates idealized windows that organize data for tasks; no menus, buttons, or functions; create physical windows later [»laueS7_2001]

Subtopic: mental model of interactive systems up

Quote: predictable user interfaces provide a clear mental model, repeatable actions, error recovery, user configuration; intelligent machines do not [»shneB1_1993]
Quote: users build a model of a system by interacting with the system, not by talking with the designer [»yeeKP12_2002]
Quote: the conceptual model of a system enables the user to understand and interact with the system [»smitDC4_1982]
Quote: design a user interface by designing the user's mental model of the system [»moraTP10_1978]
Quote: expertise develops as the user's mental model matches the abstract system model; an interface should reveal the system model [»slatBM7_1986]
Quote: user interface design should include a rationale that supports the design [»maclA5_1989]
Quote: by browsing, a users acquires a mental model of the structure and contents of ZOG [»akscRM5_1984]

Subtopic: model of user up

Quote: consistent interpretation of user behavior by a system is more important than consistent system objects or behaviors
Quote: use an approximate system level description of the mind to help predicate behavior [»cardSK_1983]

Subtopic: consistency up

Quote: law of least astonishment: Mesa's user interface should create a consistent user illusion which allows correct predictions for using new tools [»sweeRE7_1985]
Quote: design a user interface with standard, defined objects; the appearance and behavior of such objects should always be the same [»tognB_1992]
Quote: systems should demonstrate a rational and consistent exterior; irregardless of the work required [»potaWA_1979]
Quote: a system's image should be explicit, intelligible, consistent; allows users to understand and enjoy using the system [»normDA_1986]
Quote: with the World-Wide Web, the user interface is the same for all servers, protocols, and objects [»bernT8_1994]
Quote: if an interface is obscure; users can't anticipate the consequences of actions; causes tension, uncertainty, and fear of unrecoverable error [»goodM6_1981]
Quote: a user interface should be consistent; e.g., always select with the left mouse button [»smitDC4_1982]
Quote: consistency is hard to achieve in a user interface; use common paradigms where possible, e.g., editing [»smitDC4_1982]
Quote: ZOG integrates programs with frames; the global consistency helps novices

Subtopic: change up

Quote: if you must change a system, make it a large and obvious one; otherwise accidental errors become easy [»tognB_1990]

Subtopic: mental models and metaphor up

Quote: gain new cognitive structures by using metaphors of existing cognitive structures [»carrJM4_1982]
Quote: a few dozen analogies account for most of the metaphors in everyday speech [»sowaJF_1984]
Quote: a naive user needs appropriate metaphors to learn a computer system [»carrJM4_1982]
Quote: a language should be designed around a single, uniform metaphor [»ingaDH8_1981a]
Quote: using exciting metaphors for routine work; present multiple scenarios; make work an adventure [»carrJM4_1982]
Quote: consider the consequences of using a metaphor for users and system designers [»carrJM4_1982]
Quote: when introducing a metaphor to a new system user, explicitly point out its limitations [»carrJM4_1982]

Subtopic: intentional stance up

Quote: physical, design, and intentional stance; simple objects predicted by physical laws, designed objects modelled by their purpose, other people modelled by beliefs and intentions [»yeeKP12_2002]

Subtopic: stiffness due to inadequate mental model up

Quote: the stiffness of people learning new tasks help overcome the inadequacies of a poor internal model [»hintG_1984]

Subtopic: examples of metaphors up

Quote: the tool metaphor--regardless of what users think they're doing, they are actually using computers to carry out their commands, just like programmers [»laurB_1991]
Quote: most user interfaces have been built on the conversational metaphor, an interface, an intermediary, to a hidden world; denies direct engagement [»hutcEL_1986]
Quote: a command language grammar describes a system as the user sees it; i.e., the user's mental model, the user interface [»moraTP10_1978]
Quote: simulate the recovery boiler in real time but allow the student to stop the process to further develop a mental model [»woolB8_1986]

Subtopic: problems with models up

Quote: often a model is used as a specification or description; e.g., a finite state machine for a communication protocol; this does not state the requirements [»parnDL_1997]
Quote: task-oriented UI design defines windows for tasks; poor overview of data and limited task design [»laueS7_2001]

Subtopic: problems with metaphors up

Quote: don't metaphor me in; interaction requires multiple views [»vandA7_1988]
Quote: as computer interfaces become more fine-grained, the need for complete consistency will drop; in the real world we recognize objects despite a wide variety of appearances [»gentD8_1996]
Quote: we need new interface paradigms based on the structure of computer systems and computerized tasks; not imitations of outdated technologies [»gentD8_1996]
Quote: user interface models make the interface the center of attention instead of making it invisible
Quote: the postulation of inaccessible mental phenomena is pre-Darwinian anthropomorphizing; e.g., mental models and universal grammars [»searJR_1992]
Quote: WYSIWYG assumes that the printed report is the only useful representation of information; why not provide additional information such as index terms [»gentD8_1996]
Quote: the problem with interface metaphors is that they are like reality but different and in unknown ways; really a simile [»laurB_1991]
Quote: a metaphor used in learning a system may lose its usefulness with experience

Related Topics up

Topic: desktop metaphor for user interfaces (18 items)
Topic: direct engagement and theater in a user interface (35 items)
Topic: ease of learning (38 items)
Topic: identifying the user interface with the system (16 items)
Topic: models of reality (33 items)
Topic: software models of reality (24 items)
Topic: spatial metaphor in user interfaces (33 items)
Topic: understanding systems (48 items)
Topic: user interface design
(36 items)

Updated barberCB 9/05
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