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PHD-DESIGN  July 2007

PHD-DESIGN July 2007

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Subject:

Re: Selling and perceiving usability

From:

Suresh Paul <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Suresh Paul <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 20 Jul 2007 10:18:18 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (84 lines)

I would add to that and say that perception is also modified by time and 
environment.


Suresh Paul FRGS
Director
Equal Adventure
Glenmore Lodge
Aviemore
Inverness-shire PH22 1QU
Tel: (+44) 1479 861200
Fax: (+44) 1479 861212
Mob: (+44) 07989573784
www.equaladventure.co.uk <http://www.equaladventure.co.uk>



Stephen Brown wrote:
> Raymond, I don't think you can separate out perception of usability in
> the way you have proposed.  The perception is likely to arise from an
> interaction between three variables: the individual, the product and the
> task (that is carried out using the product). So it depends on the skill
> and familiarity of the user with the product, their motivation, the
> complexity of the task they are to perform, and the design of the
> product itself in terms of how explicit the button functions, sequence
> of operation, status and feedback are. Sometimes more buttons makes for
> greater usability.  So for example, the most basic telephone has at
> least 12 buttons, a basic mobile phone has around 20 yet most people
> don't have a problem using telephones, at least for basic functions such
> as voice calls and texting, storing numbers and messages. In contrast,
> digital watches which typically have around three or four buttons are
> notoriously difficult to operate because the buttons are too small to be
> adequately labelled, or differentiated by shape or position, they don't
> give the user any feedback and the user is required to remember a
> variety of button combinations in various sequences in order to perform
> simple tasks such as resetting the time.  
> Regards Stephen Brown
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: PhD-Design - This list is for discussion of PhD studies and
> related research in Design [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf
> Of Raymond Jepson
> Sent: 19 July 2007 18:21
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Selling and perceiving usability
>
>
> Hello all,
>
> Inspired by problems I've had developing product interfaces, I've been
> discussing perceived usability with some other designers.  So far, I've
> found some research on the perception of usability and how that relates
> to beauty.  However, I haven't found anything that answers my question:
>
> How is perceived usability related to number of buttons on a product
> (our products are too inexpensive to use a GUI).  I would suppose it is
> not a directly linear relation. Common sense would say people would
> think devices with 1-3 buttons would be equally easy. 3-10/20ish would
> be more difficult. Over that would be immensely complex.
>
> I've been thinking of developing an online survey to see if I can
> discover any differences that are not influenced by graphics or button
> layout.  I've been thinking of using a generic look clock radio as a
> platform to test, because these products have a very wide amount of
> buttons depending on manufacturer.  Then, I would ask survey takers to
> judge either "usability", "complexity" or "user-friendliness".  I
> haven't settled on a word yet.
>
> If anyone thinks this would be a valuable topic to research, I'd like
> any advice more experienced researchers might have to help me.
>
> Second, I need to measure how valuable features on our products (how
> often they are used, how important the end users think the functions
> are). I have a few ideas on how to get data, talk to our CS dept., talk
> to customers looking at our products in stores, talking to sales dept.
> Does anyone have any other good techniques at learning what to keep?
>
> I look forward to hearing your responses!
>
> -Raymond Jepson
>
>
>
>   

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