Alan Dix - research topics

Little things matter!

Some writers on interface design assume that all menus, buttons, etc. are essentially the same: a Motif menu may look different from a Mac one, but they serve the same function. However, when basic widgets are examined in detail they differ markedly and in ways which have a significant effect on usability. An example of this is the behaviour of on-screen buttons. These often allow the button press to be cancelled by dragging the mouse off the button before releasing it. However, this leads to an expert slip where the user thinks the button has been pressed, but instead accidentally cancelled it. A detailed analysis, using status-event timeline diagrams revealed why this occurs as well as guiding a solution using auditory feedback.

See also work on status-event analysis and time in user interfaces.

Some papers

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