In user interface design there are four different kinds of models come into play when a user interface is analyzed and designed.
User profile model – Established by a human engineer or software engineer
- Establishes the profile of the end-users of the system Based on age, gender, physical abilities, education, cultural or ethnic background, motivation, goals, and personality
- The underlying sense of the application; an understanding of the functions that are performed, the meaning of input and output, and the objectives of the system Categorizes users as
Novices: No syntactic knowledge of the system, little semantic knowledge of the application, only general computer usage.
Knowledgeable, intermittent users:
Reasonable semantic knowledge of the system, low recall of syntactic information to use the interface.
Knowledgeable, frequent users:
Good semantic and syntactic knowledge (i.e., power user), look for shortcuts and abbreviated modes of operation
Design model – Created by a software engineer
- Derived from the analysis model of the requirements Incorporates data, architectural, interface, and procedural representations of the software
- Constrained by information in the requirements specification that helps define the user of the system.
- Consists of the look and feel of the interface combined with all supporting information (books, videos, help files) that describe system syntax and semantics
- Strives to agree with the user’s mental model; users then feel comfortable with the software and use it effectively
- Often called the user’s system perception. Consists of the image of the system that users carry in their heads.
- Accuracy of the description depends upon the user’s profile and overall familiarity with the software in the application domain