User Interface Design Jie Cai Tiem-Yen Liang Soodtida Tangpraphaphorn
What is a User Interface? • UI is the basic format allowing a user to operate a program • Command Line (CLI) is text-based • Graphical User Interface (GUI) relies on pictures • Both user interfaces can be applied to biomedical informatics • But when?
UI Components • Most common GUI configuration • WIMP – window, icon, mouse, pointer • CLI configurations can vary • Scripts • TUI – looks like graphic, but comprised of text characters
Design Principles • Know your users! • Needs and goals • Special professional jargon • Computer literacy • Emulate a familiar system • Nobody loves an ugly GUI
Human-Computer Interaction • Study of interactions between computers and people • Interdisciplinary field draws from informatics, psych, cog. sci., comp. sci., etc. • Clear understanding of HCI improves user-friendliness
Clinical Contexts • Identify need • Clinical, administration, research • A precise definition of the problem • Tech solution is unacceptable if it misses the point • Technology addresses the need • Development driven by tech often fails • To do or not to do?
Buy It? Develop It? • Off-the-shelf software • Less expensive • Expensive to customize • If it works well enough, BUY it! • Custom development • Expensive • Can we actually do this? • If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it
When Things Go Awry • If the user is not comfortable with the interface, he/she will give up • Mistakes can be ¢o$t£y • Case example (Ch. 5)
How to Make It All Better • User involvement • Model user habits indirectly • Direct user involvement better, but complicated • Medical information specialists • Mediate between users and software developers
How to Make It All Better (con’d) • User testing • Prototyping • Spiral model • Evaluation • Case example (Ch. 5)