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Norman - Human/Computer Interaction

Norman put forward a model of human-computer interaction. The model states that any action consists of 7 stages and these stages run in a cycle

  1. Forming a goal -What you want as an outcome
  2. Forming an intention - What too do too achieve it
  3. Specifying an action - What too perform
  4. Executing the action - The action
  5. Perceiving the state of the system - What's happened
  6. Interpreting the state of the system - This did this
  7. Evaluating the outcome - So now im here

Taking these stages Forming a Goal is the central item. The other six are broken down into 2 "gulfs". As such a designer must bridge these these two gulfs too create an effective system. To bridge the first gulf, the "gulf of execution" you must design the system to ease the process of getting from the intention to the execution. To bridge the seconds gulf, the " gulf of evaluation" you must design the system so that the response after the user has performed an action can be easily interpreted and then evaluated. So making the system easy too perform actions on and easy too evaluate the effects

Norman put forward the following design principles addressing the gulfs.

  1. Make things visible
    • Ensure that the user, by looking, can tell the state of the device and the alternatives for action. If its easy its good
  2. Use natural mappings
    • Ensure there is a natural relationship between the look of an object and its function. Objects should look like they should be used.
  3. Give feedback
    • Give the user full and continuous feedback. Always tell the user what they have done and how the system has responded if applicable.
  4. Provide a good conceptual model
    • Ensure the system image is coherent and consistent and reflects the model that underlies the system. The system image must reflect the designer's model accurately so that the user can construct a mental model that is in line with this underlying model.