Explain User Interface Design Models

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.
Implementation model – Created by the software implementer
  • 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
User’s mental model – Developed by the user when interacting with the application
  • 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
The role of the interface designer is to merge these differences and derive a consistent representation of the interface

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