Principles of Interaction
Now that we’ve contextualized our two areas of study—programming languages and human-computing interaction—let’s dive into usability! For next class, read the remainder of chapter 1 of DET:
- DET: chapter 1 from “Fundamental Principles of Interaction” to the end of the chapter.
In order to become keen observers of usability concerns, especially when it concerns programming, we need to know what to look for. The fundamental principles of interaction presented by Norman gives us a vocabulary and framework for understanding usability.
In the reading, Norman applies his principles to a variety of everyday objects—doors, refrigerator controls, clocks, etc. I would like to apply these principles to a computational artifact that Norman does not talk about and is not a programming environment. More specifically, choose a program (e.g., Excel, Photoshop) or a computational concept (e.g., a file system) and:
- At least 3 examples of affordances and/or signifiers of the artifact. Make sure to explain whether the example is an affordance or a signifier.
- At least 2 mappings between the control of the artifact and the underlying system. State whether these mappings are natural.
- At least 2 examples of feedback generated by the system and your opinion on whether each piece of feedback is appropriate according to the reading.
- The conceptual model that the average user has when operating the system (in your estimation).