week 5 – no lecture on 27th

Hi All,

As far as I can see from campusnet activity, your project work is going well. I only have to small reminders; the users should be anonymous [ no real names, no exact addressess: 2200 or nørrebro is fine / Jagtvej 69, st. tv. 2200 København is not fine…]. Also please cite your resources properly…

Regarding the heuristic evaluation part; below are supplementary material (scientific journal/conference papers) that might be of interest to you:

nielsen’s heuristic evaluation of user interfaces: http://www.cs.panam.edu/~rfowler/csci6362/papers/13_Nielsen-Molich_1990_Heuristic-Evaluation-of-User-Interfaces_CHI.pdf

comparing nielsen’s and Gerhart-powell’s heuristics: http://www.sciencedirect.com.globalproxy.cvt.dk/science/article/pii/S095354380600138X

And below is an excerpt for an overview of different heuristics (from the paper: “Architecting for usability: a survey”, http://www.sciencedirect.com.globalproxy.cvt.dk/science/article/pii/S0164121202001590#sec4.2.2)

4.2.2. Design heuristics and principles

Design heuristics and principles for usability suggest properties and principles that have a positive effect on usability. The following list of design heuristics and principles is created based upon surveys provided in Keinonen (1998) and Baecker et al. (1995).

  • Eight golden rules of dialogue design (Shneiderman, 1986).
  • Usability heuristics (Nielsen, 1993).
  • Usability principles (Constantine and Lockwood, 1999).
  • Evaluation check list for software inspection (Ravden and Johnson, 1989).
  • Guidelines on user interaction design (Hix and Hartson, 1993).
  • Seven principles that make difficult task easy (Norman, 1988).
  • Design for successful guessing (Polson and Lewis, 1990).
  • Dialogue principles (ISO 9241 DIS, 1992).
  • Design for successful guessing (Holcomb and Tharp, 1991).
  • Design principles (Rubinstein and Hersh, 1984).

The principles stated above almost all address usability issues mentioned below according to Keinonen (1998).

  • Consistency: Users should not have to wonder whether different words, situations, or actions mean the same thing. It is regarded as an essential design principle that consistency should be used within applications. Consistency makes learning easier because things have be learned only once. The next time the same thing is faced in another application, it is familiar. Visual consistency increases perceived stability which increases user confidence in different new environments.
  • Task match: Designers should provide just the information that the users needs no more no less, and in the order that the users prefers to use this information.
  • Appropriate visual presentation: User interface design has focused on this aspect of user control. This issue has recently been extended to include multimedia, for example, voice control applications. For a user to be effectively in control he has to be provided with all necessary information.
  • User control: It is a design principle that direct manipulation should be supported, for instance, the user should feel that he is in control of the application. Interaction is more rewarding if the users feel that they directly influence the objects instead of just giving the system instructions to act.
  • Memory-load reduction: People do not remember unrelated pieces of information exactly, thus where precise recollection is required; for instance in a task, many errors may be expected. Interaction therefore should rely more on user recognition than on recall. Recall is prone to errors, whereas people are very good at recognizing objects. The allocation of work between humans and computers should be such that computers present alternatives and patterns, while people select and edit.
  • Error handling: All usability principles address the issue of error handling or error recovery. Error recovery relieves anxiety, enabling users to discover new alternatives, facilitating learning by doing.
  • Guidance and support: In order to help the user understand and use the system, informative, easy to use and relevant guidance and support should be provided in both the application and the user manual.



week 4 – preamble

Hi All,


First things first: We will start the lecture at 9:00 tomorrow, as usual.


Tomorrow, we will continue with the cognitive aspects in interaction; we will look at the interaction loop, how people sense, perceive and control things.


We will have the lecture from 9:00 and on; and the rest of the time will be allocated for project work. I will be at class until 11:00; and Rune will be there until 12:00.


Next week (27th September); there is no lecture. The idea is to give you some time to do project work; you will have the opportunity to work all together as a group, since it might be difficult for some of you to meet outside the class hours. But in case you need some help; Rune will be there in the classroom.


I know some of you have questions regarding the final project and the method of evaluation and the date of the exam and so on; I will try to clarify these issues tomorrow, as much as possible.





Coffee Machine reports




Short update on coffee machine reports:

they are now online  both on campusnet folder week3 and also publicly available in the following link:

coffee machine assignments



Regarding Rejsekort and Project I

Attention crew, your captain speaking:

First things first:

From today on; I kindly ask you not to directly contact with anyone the Rejsekort organisation. [yes, it is an order]. If you really have to contact them regarding e.g. some technical questions; it will be through me – you contact me first, and I will contact them for you.


Now, the reasons:

I already talked about this with few of you yesterday; you wanted to contact the Rejsekort organisation and get some data/insight regarding the project from their point of view.

Eventhough it sounds like a good idea from a general point of view on the Rejsekort; it is a really bad idea for your project. Your tests and evaluations must be clear, factual and objective,  and getting insider info (e.g. the actual project management, IT backbone of the system, financial background of the project) will prime you – which in turn will affect the tests you will be running. (e.g., see this link for a study of the effect of priming on usability: http://bit.ly/oQ6QhX )


Let me be perfectly clear on this once more:

1. You must be unbiased  while doing this project

2. You must define representative tasks

3. You must find representative users (e.g. not only your friends,not only pensionists)

4. Give clear instructions during testing

5. Make sure you are not making users uncomfortable (people tend to blame themselves if they make an error)

6. Do not inquire about the emotional state / reflection of the user to the system while they are doing the representative tasks. Of course, if they comment on a certain feature themselves during the task – “ah, this is annoying” – record it down, but do not  comment back. (again, the priming effect)

7. But, you should observe the user during the task, and perhaps ask about his/her experience AFTER s/he completes the task. (a good read on the differences between usability and user experience: http://bit.ly/nbHoyB -I’d say we are interested in both in this project, but perhaps more on usability than ux…)


And here is the deal:

I will get someone from Rejsekort to come on the 11th of October – after you are done with the reports- to give you an overview of the project and to tell you their story. And the deal is that they will come and give this talk if you do not to directly contact with the Rejsekort organisation – they dont want to be spammed. If you need something specific – contact me and I will forward your request if necessary.


I hope you are all are all genuinely interested in the topic, you will have fun, and in the meanwhile, you will learn a few things.


Rejsekort – mine is arrived.


This was in my mailbox today; I got my own rejsekort in less than 4 days. Yours should also arrive soon.

Remember to print out your your credit card statement for the 150 kr and keep it together with the letter that comes together with the rejsekort.

Week 3

So, here are the slides from week 3 [campusnet].

Following will give you a good idea to get started with the Project One:


Heuristic Evaluation: http://www.useit.com/papers/heuristic/heuristic_list.html

usability 101: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20030825.html

why 5 users: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20000319.html

characteristics of u. problms http://www.useit.com/papers/heuristic/usability_problems.html



Stay tuned for more info…




Week 2

We now have the slides from today’s lecture on campusnet.

At the end of the slideshow [week2], you will find more info about the assignments, but shortly:

  1.  Do a ‘quick and dirty’ testing of the coffee machine in 404/414, send your report to dtu42072@gmail.com
  2.  Make a list of  ‘public service interfaces’ and send it to the same address. These lists will be used to decide what you will work on in project 1.

For the videos from today’s lecture, you can head to this bundle: http://bitly.com/ocXf0P


Within the next three weeks [Sept. 6 – Sept. 27]:

  • You can quickly skim Chapter 1
  • Go through Chapter 2
  • Briefly look at Chapter 3 [no need to read in detail about  personas]
  • Chapter 4 – it is a good read on usability.
If you are interested; chapter 20 [UbiComp] and chapter 21[mobile computing] give a good outlook on the ‘ Paradigms in DxI’.
For the socially-oriented; chapter 23 [Affective computing] is an interesting read.
and one final thing; if you would like to leave anonymous feedback regarding the course, let it be about today’s lecture, or the assignments, or anything related to the course, you can go ahead and fill in the form in here: http://bit.ly/qBAHKI


ps. 10 people ‘liked’ the ‘week 1’. let’s see if we have better customer satisfaction this week…