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RelativeResourceManagero9iu - Lecture 2: The UI Design...

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Fall 2003 6.893 UI Design and Implementation 1 Lecture 2: The UI Design Process
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Fall 2003 6.893 UI Design and Implementation 2 UI Hall of Fame or Shame? Source: Interface Hall of Shame Sybase PowerBuilder is an application development environment, not unlike Microsoft Visual Basic. Users of PowerBuilder construct forms by drawing controls (buttons, listboxes, graphical objects) on the form. Controls are selected by pulling down a menu from a toolbar icon. The menu actually looks like a palette, but it behaves like a pulldown menu in that once you make a selection, it disappears. After a control is selected, its icon is shown in the toolbar, and clicking on the form drops the control where you clicked. This design solves some interesting problems. Most of the time, the palette is hidden, saving screen real estate that the user might prefer to use to view the form being created. It makes it easy to drop multiple instances of the same kind of control on the form – an array of textboxes, for example, or several command buttons. The current palette mode is displayed even when the palette isn’t visible. But that last feature leads to the unfortunate problem with this design: the toolbar icon is different every time the user tries to find it! Even frequent PowerBuilder users report the disconcerting feeling of hunting around for this button. The button is always in the same place, but that doesn’t make it easy to find, since it’s located in the midst of other toolbar buttons. Shape is the best discriminator here, but the icon keeps changing shape. A task that probably seemed trivial to PowerBuilder’s developers – the user must know where that button was, since they’ve already used it! – turns out not to be trivial at all.
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Fall 2003 6.893 UI Design and Implementation 3 Today’s Topics • Iterative Design • Task Analysis Design Implement Evaluate Today’s lecture concerns two topics. First, we’ll look at UI design from a very high-level, considering the shape of the process that we should use to build user interfaces. Iterative design is the current best-practice process for developing user interfaces. It’s a specialization of the spiral model described by Boehm for general software engineering. Your term project is structured as an iterative design. Second, we’ll look at how to get started with UI design – how to start the crank and get the UI design cycle going. Task analysis is the process by which you
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Fall 2003 6.893 UI Design and Implementation 4 Traditional Software Engineering Process: Waterfall Model Requirements Design Code Integration Acceptance Release The waterfall model was one of the earliest carefully-articulated design processes for software development. It models the design process as a sequence of stages. Each stage results in a concrete product – a requirements document, a design, a set of coded modules – that feeds into the next stage. Each stage also includes its own validation: the design is validated against the requirements, the code is validated (unit-tested) against the design, etc. The biggest improvement of the waterfall model over previous (chaotic) approaches to
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RelativeResourceManagero9iu - Lecture 2: The UI Design...

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