Usability Principles Collated by Source [#UX] and a Happy Christmas!

So, I’ve been working on my UX notes for the new unit, and as part of this I’ve been collating some principles. As it’s Christmas, I’m adding those for usability just in case they may be of interest.

Happy Christmas!You will notice in the table below that the left column describes the principle, guideline, or rule (these are sometimes used interchangeably between the different experts); while on the right side the experts are listed along with a footnote pointing to the text from which the principle is derived. In collating these principles I have not followed slavishly the nomenclature proposed by each author, but have instead placed them in categories which I believe have the same conceptual value even if the naming of that principle does not follow that in the source it is derived from.

Principle Appears in Source
Closure (Dialog Yields) Shneiderman1.
Consistency / Standards Xerox-Star2; Shneiderman; Norman3; Nielsen4; ISO 9241-1105; Dix, Finally, Abowd & Beale6; Raskin7.
Constraints (Exploit) Norman.
Control & Freedom (Support) Shneiderman; ISO 9241-110; Nielsen.
Error Handling (Simple) Shneiderman; Norman; ISO 9241-110; Nielsen.
Familiarity Xerox-Star; Norman; Dix, Finally, Abowd & Beale; Raskin.
Feedback (Informative) Shneiderman.
Help & Documentation Nielsen.
Interrupts (Resumption) Raskin.
Describing (Self) ISO 9241-110.
Heuristic Evaluation Nielsen.
Learnability Dix, Finally, Abowd & Beale, ISO 9241-110; Sharp, Rogers and Preece8.
Mappings (Real-Virtual) Norman; Nielsen; Dix, Finally, Abowd & Beale.
Memory Load (Reduce) Shneiderman; Sharp, Rogers and Preece.
Navigation & Freedom (Support) Raskin.
Reversal of Actions (Easy) Shneiderman; Nielsen; Dix, Finally, Abowd & Beale.
Safety Sharp, Rogers and Preece.
Shortcuts (Provide) Shneiderman.
Simplicity Xerox-Star; Norman; Brooks9.
Singularity of Focus (Attention) Raskin.
Task Suitability & Conformance Dix, Finally, Abowd & Beale; ISO 9241-110.
Tailor-ability / Flexibility Xerox-Star; Nielsen; ISO 9241-110; Dix, Finally, Abowd & Beale.
Universal Commands Xerox-Star; Dix, Finally, Abowd & Beale; Raskin.
Utility Sharp, Rogers and Preece.
Visibility (Make Things) Norman; Nielsen.
  1. B. Shneiderman and C. Plaisant. Designing the user interface: strategies for effective human-computer interaction. Addison- Wesley, Boston, 5th ed edition, 2010.
  2. D. C. Smith, C. Irby, R. Kimball, B. Verplank, and E. Harslem. Designing the star user interface. BYTE, 7(4):242-282, 1982.
  3. D. A. Norman. The design of everyday things. Basic Books, New York, 1st basic paperback edition, 1988.
  4. J. Nielsen. Usability engineering. Academic Press, Boston, 1993. Nielsen also lists Aesthetic and minimalist design.
  5. ISO/TR 9241-110:2006. Ergonomics of human-system interaction – part 110: Dialogue principles. TC/SC: TC 159/SC 4 ICS 13.180, International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Geneva, Switzerland, 2006.
    A. Dix, J. Finlay, G. Abowd, and R. Beale. Human-computer interaction. Prentice Hall Europe, London, 2nd ed edition, 1998. Dix, Finally, Abowd & Beale describe ‘Learnability’ as: Predictability, Synthesizablity, Familiarity, Generalizabilty, and Consistency. ‘Flexibility’ as: Dialog initiative, Multi-threading, Task migratabilty, Subsitutivity, and Customizability. ‘Robustness’ as: Observability, Recoverability, Responsiveness, and Task conformance.
  6. J. Raskin. The humane interface: new directions for designing interactive systems. Addison Wesley, Reading, Mass., 2000.
  7. H. Sharp, Y. Rogers, and J. Preece. Interaction design: beyond human-computer interaction. Wiley, Chichester, 2nd ed edition, 2007. Preece, Rogers and Sharp also lists Satisfying, Enjoyable, Fun, Entertaining, Helpful, Motivating, Aesthetic, Supports creativity, Rewarding, and Emotionally fulfilling.
  8. F. P. Brooks. The mythical man-month: essays on software engineering. Addison-Wesley Pub. Co., Reading, Mass., anniversary ed edition, 1995.
There’ll be some more on Emotions coming next week!
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One thought on “Usability Principles Collated by Source [#UX] and a Happy Christmas!

  1. Pingback: Accessibility & Big Open Data | Thinking Out Loud…

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