Usability

Report
Doh!
USABILITY
IN CLOUD AND MOBILE APPS
http://www.flickr.com/photos/johanl/4934459020
Key usability principles
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Keep it simple
Keep it responsive
Follow guidelines and patterns
Adequate aesthetics so as not to hurt usability
Easy to install and start using
Keep it simple
1
• There should be a primary task supported
– And a clear, 100% obvious path for that task
• 90/10 rule
– 90% of users will use only 10% of the features
• In fact, when you make a mobile+desktop app,
design for the mobile screen first
– And then add features for the other platform(s)
Example: Skype for Android
Check out this walkthrough of Skype
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_e
mbedded&v=1o6TBezfSpU
Notice that the UI makes the right path obvious:
• Click Skype icon; Skype shows list of contacts
• User clicks contact name; Skype shows profile
• User clicks Skype call or Skype video call button
Keep it responsive
• Responsiveness != performance
– Does the app react quickly vs
does the system complete work quickly/scalably
• Main key: Do long operations asynchronously
– E.g., network operations, big database operations
– E.g., In Android, use IntentReceiver to perform small
chunks of work; use Service for long tasks
– E.g., In JavaScript, use function objects, closures, and
events and/or setTimeout()
2
Performing a long task
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Acknowledge input immediately
Show user the progress so far
Show user estimate of how long to wait
Let user do work while waiting for long tasks
Let users cancel long-running tasks
80% complete
Important UI guidelines
provided by Apple
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Give People a Logical Path to Follow
Elevate the Content that People Care About
Minimize the Effort Required for User Input
De-emphasize Settings and File-Handling
Make Search Quick and Rewarding
Use UI Elements Consistently
Delight People with Stunning Graphics
Handle Orientation Changes
Ask People to Save Only When Necessary
3
iOS guidelines related to widgets
• Status bar: is for showing status
– Don’t hide it unless you have a really good reason
• Navigation bar: is for navigating
– Should have a “back”-like button if appropriate
• Toolbar: is for tools
– Usually bottom of screen
• Tab bar: is for switching between views
For the full guidelines
• http://developer.apple.com/library/ios/#DOC
UMENTATION/UserExperience/Conceptual/M
obileHIG/Introduction/Introduction.html
• http://developer.android.com/guide/practices
/ui_guidelines/index.html
Note: Not all guidelines are UI!
Example: Handling Android lifecycle events
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Pause/Resume (e.g., your app is only partially visible)
– onPause: release sensor event listeners, store most user data
– onResume: register sensor event listeners, restore most user data
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Stop/Start and Destroy/Create (e.g., user briefly goes to home screen or changes
the orientation from portrait to landscape)
– Very similar to pause/resume but used for operations that have heavier startup/shutdown
costs (such as connecting to a database)
User interface patterns
• Users become accustomed to doing tasks in
certain ways within mobile apps
• User interface patterns describe common
ways of laying out the screen for tasks
– So users can find stuff and don’t get confused
• Different than Design Patterns
– Structure of UI vs. structure of code
Example: Popup invitation
• Situation: App developer
wants user to make it
easy for user to visit app
(website) frequently
• Design: Provide a popup
box inviting the user to
add the app to home
http://www.flickr.com/photos/
brettlider/4964755483/sizes/m
/in/photostream/
Other common UI patterns
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Dashboard
Empty data set – invite user
Live search
Login / authentication
Menu of operations
Navigation widget
Profile screen
Settings screens
Splash screens
User profile screen
Places to go for UI patterns
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http://androidpttrns.com/
http://inspired-ui.com/
http://mobile-patterns.com/
http://pttrns.com/
http://www.androiduipatterns.com/
http://www.lovelyui.com/
http://www.mobiledesignpatterngallery.com/
http://www.patternsofdesign.co.uk/
Aesthetics
• Aesthetics is not directly about usability
– Aesthetics is how “pretty” or “pleasing” it is
– Usability is how well people can use it
• But it is possible for apps to be so tragically
ugly that their very ugliness hurts usability
4
Elements of aesthetics
• Graphics and that jazz should never distract
from functionality or content
• Provide obvious but unobtrusive navigation
• Balance visual weight across screen
• Use consistency, repetition and proximity to
show groups of conceptually similar items
• Use contrast to emphasize differences
Example #1
My Courses
•CS561: Software engineering
•CS562: Applied software
engineering
•CS569: Special topics in software
engineering
•CS584: Human factors in
programming languages
Add another registered course
Machine learning on the cloud
Advanced e-commerce
Software and job creation
FPGA programming
Add another wishlist course
CS561: Software engineering
Taken in Fall 2012 from Jensen, C
Grade of A
Utilize software engineering
methodology in a team environment
to develop a real-world
application. Teams will be
responsible for all phases of
software development, including
project planning, requirements
analysis, design, coding, testing,
configuration management, quality
assurance, documentation, and
delivery. Two-term sequence
required.
75 34
Back
Example #2
My Courses
+
Registered
CS561: Software engineering
CS562: Applied software engi…
CS569: Special topics in softw…
CS584: Human factors in prog…
Wish list
Machine learning on the cloud
Advanced e-commerce
Software and job creation
FPGA programming
Courses
CS561
Software engineering
75
Term taken: Fall 2012
Your grade: A
Instructor: Jensen, C.
34
Over all terms,
all instructors
Description
Utilize software engineering methodology in a
team environment to develop a real-world
application. Teams will be responsible for all
phases of software development, including
project planning, requirements analysis, design,
coding, testing, configuration management,
quality assurance, documentation, and delivery.
Two-term sequence required.
Of course…
The usability of an app is immaterial
if nobody can even figure out how to install it.
Easy to install and start using
• It should be trivially easy for a user to
– Find your app
– Install your app
– Start using your app
5
Discoverability
Some tips for naming your app (Courtesy of NetMagazine)
• Two-part name: distinctive and memorable
• Authentic: not a “knock-off” of existing app
• Clear: say what your app does
• Short: under 11 characters
And, obviously, use words related to the app’s
purpose so it shows up in search results.
Other ways to get app discovered
• Word-of-mouth
– E.g., provide rewards in app for people who tell their
friends
• Strategic partnerships: mutual benefits
– E.g., Get your app reviewed by bloggers; you want to
get a lot of buzz (test for scalabilty beforehand)
• Advertise
– E.g., iAd, AdMob, or even DoubleClick (websites)
Install-ability
• The easiest apps to install are web apps
– Do you really need to make a native app?
• Good reasons: performance, native APIs
• Webapps can be bookmarked onto home page
– And can even have a nifty little icon!
• Free apps are far more likely to be installed
– Consider monetizing via ads + in-app purchases
Easing the installation
• Keep the installation lean
– E.g., Don’t package in media such as video and big
images unless most users will need them
– Bundle different media for different device sizes
– Defer downloads of media only some users need
• Don’t crash on install
– Common problem: requiring installation via iTunes
(why on earth, I can’t imagine)
Start using-ability
• Don’t crash on first startup
– Fail gracefully if network is unavailable
– Test on lots of different devices
• Avoid requiring user to set settings to start
• Obvious path for primary task
(which is where I started this lecture!)
Key usability principles
• Keep it simple
– Design for a primary task
• Keep it responsive
– Asynchronicity for long tasks
• Follow guidelines and patterns
• Adequate aesthetics so as not to hurt usability
• Easy to install and start using
– Discoverability
– Install-ability
– Start using-ability

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