User behavior on Computer System/Software

Computer is made for user; User is not made for computer (Koi Mil Gaya...). So the moral of statement is that the user has supreme command over the computer and computer should behave as user wants. This should be kept in mind when anybody wants to develop the software system; even this is also true for any product in a world that is made for the user interaction.

During my six year of experience as software developer (especially in Front End) I have done lot of mistake and that taught me what the user wants. As I have involved in development of may type of product like Network Diagrammer, User Interface Modeler, Rule Editor, Simple Script Language Editor, XML Editor, Security Trading Console, I faced many type of User.

Here I would like to share some user behavior and what they want with the system. You will also learn how to face with this type problem at here.
 

1. User doesn’t like to wait: User says that I just pressed the Exit button and the what the hell of this system is doing now. User don't know that system might be caching user preference, Closing lots of threads, connection or might be logout response is still not received. For any action user should only waited for 300 Milli second. If any action is taking more then that time then it is hectic task. Any rollover effect, dialog showing, scrolling should be done in .3 second. Otherwise user should allow doing another task.

 

2.   User wants some break or User wants entertainment or User likes animation (Opposite to case 1): Animation is plays a key role to make user entertain or have a break.  Note: Progress bar is not an Animation. But suppose you press on any button and its open a dialog in slowly, opaque to non opaque, zero size to prefer size, rotation, moving etc..., then it make user full of fun, during this period user take some rest.

 

3.   User doesn’t like to do same work on daily: Mr. X is coming daily, starting machine, opening some sites, login and watching the contents. Now this is daily process. Some time all, this thing is irritating. There should be automated system so when Mr. X start the matching it starts website, logging automatically and X feels relief.

 

4.   User don't like to user mouse: Why DOS Console is still there in Window, why window has to develop another shell, the power shell. If any developer uses any system then in general he doesn’t like to use mouse. People who like to use keyboard they are very concentric people or lazy. Because when they don't want to raise their hand to mouse or using mouse they have to find the location over the screen and it break their concentration. Typical users of Trading System don’t like to use this type of devices.

 

5.   User doesn’t like to use keyboard: People who don't like to remember complex command then they uses mouse. They don't like to use keyboard as navigator or executing environment this is secrete of success of Window. Microsoft has research lots on the pointing devices and they customized their system according to these type of user. Typical game user doesn’t like to use keyboard or new user of system don't like to use keyboard because they don't know shortcuts or command.

 

6.   User doesn’t like to pass same information at may time: A typical user of Web Browser register himself in many websites. For that user has to pass (feed) his address, contact details, age, education etc?  Now on perspective of that user all above information will be unique but when user register him in different sites he has to do pass all the information that is passed on some other site. This is very imitative work.  The solution of this problem is currently provided by Web Browser Provider. They keep all this information in user profile. and whenever the browser open finds such information it suggest that information in drop down menu. So user has to just select the item and no need to type value. Now when your system have different service and if you wants user has to register in each service you should keep door for the user who has register him in one of your service. Look at the Google. They provide email service, document service and lots of. So use any service you must have to register yourself. So the Google have created centralized User Profile Management. When user tries to register or login they uses centralize profile and user don't need to pass information all the places.

 

7.   User doesn’t like to see same information at all the time: Giving more thing then what client wish is some time become problem for the user.

 

8.   User doesn’t like repetitive confirmation: The motto of confirmation is to prevent accidental loss of data. But many time it become headache for the user. Suppose user checking his mail. Now he wants to delete bunch of email and he is selecting all that email and fire delete action. Now suppose system give one confirmation for one delete and if there is 10 item to delete then user have to give 10 time confirmation. It is boring, time consuming and tiring task. So System should not give 10 confirmations. It should give only one confirmation. Some user doesn’t want confirmation at all. In such system there should be a system that could reverse the user task. (This is only useful in non real time system. In real time system there exist any few step that are reversible and if exist then it could cost some penny)

 

9.   User doesn’t like to remember the things and don't like to learn: User register at one place. It gives complex registration number (it is image, not copy able) and tells to submit at some other place and then user definitely cries to system: what the hell of this. DO NOT MAKE SUCH SYSTEM.

 

10.    User wants to know critical message: Generally any user can't stay on computer to watch screen continuously by psychologically or physically. In such case they wants quick alert when some critical thing is happens. So they want such a system which notifies them.

1.   When he is online: we can highlight or vibrate certain component.

2.   When he is offline: we can do above thing as well can send messages to their accounts or mobile.

 

11.    User doesn’t like some colors, pattern, and image: This is very normal thing. Every person has its own choice of color, font, and layouts. In certain case user might have physical disability (Some people can't tolerate red color). In such cases system should provide a tool by which they can set their choice.

 

12.    Some user wants horizontal layout of form: some user wants to change his eye site horizontally. So they choose only horizontal forms (Flow layout).

 

13.    Some user wants vertical layout of form: It is opposite to case 16.

 

14.   Some user wants particular form should be in certain layout: This is mix of case 16 and 17. In this user wants form should be in certain layout. Like filling contact detail wants in Vertical layout but wants Order Entry layout in flow form. Generally Flow layout suits those people who are doing data entry. They are repetitively uses the form. Some times flow layout is used to save the space in form so more information can be shown (As developer perspective).

 

15.    Some user choose :

1.   Tab Layout

2.   MDI Layout

3.   SDI Layout

4.   Free Form Layout (FFL

           Above layouts have its own benefits in deferent environment. Like FFL are very useful when user is using Multi Screen (Multiple Monitor) Systems. Tab Layout and MDI keeps same functionality in same window. Tab Layout tight sizing or auto sizing. MDI provide different size for different frame and also helps all views keep on watch. SDI used keep concentrated only at one document or view. So based on the environment, or user mind we can use different layouts.

 

16.   User want all the things at one place : see case 16

 

17.   User don't want all the things at one place (wants categorized) : see case 16

 

18.   Generally when system comes up, user wants to see all the things that he has left when he closed the system

1.   Size

2.   Position

3.   Order

 

19.    So many options confusing the user: It is true for the users who are new to system, who worked at high level and don’t know about detail.

 

20.    Same action generate different result at different place: In one place F5 button generates refresh but some place it generates a report. This is very socking for the client and some times it is dangerous. System should be unified with action and its behavior at all the places.

 

21.    Some other behavior

1.   User wants some challenging work

 


 

More:

http://www.cs.vu.nl/~martijn/patterns/PLoP2k-Welie.pdf

http://www.welie.com/patterns/

http://www.infovis-wiki.net/index.php?title=Visualization_Design_Patterns

http://com2.devnet.scd.yahoo.com/ypatterns/

http://uipatternfactory.com/

http://ui-patterns.com/

http://patterns.littlespringsdesign.com/index.php/Main_Page#Design_Patterns

http://www.helpyouplay.com/

http://www.visi.com/~snowfall/InteractionPatterns.html

http://designinginterfaces.com/

 

Last Modified : 16/AUG/2008
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