- 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.
- A. J. Dix (1991).
Modelling and analysis of status input - when mice shouldn't drag their tails.
In A Collection of Papers on HCI Ed. G. D. Abowd. YCS 156, University of York, Dept. of Computer Science.
- A. Dix and S. A. Brewster (1994).
Causing Trouble with Buttons.
Ancilliary Proceedings of HCI'94, Glasgow, Scotland. Ed. D. England.
- A. Dix (1995).
Accelerators and toolbars: learning from the menu.
Adjunct Proceedings of HCI'95. Huddersfield.
- S. A. Brewster, P. C. Wright, A. J. Dix and A. D. N. Edwards (1995).
The Sonic Enhancement of Graphical Buttons.
Human-Computer Interaction - Interact'95, Eds. K. Nordby, P. Helmerson, D. J. Gilmore and S. A. Arnesen. Lillehammer, pp. 43-48.
- A. Dix, R. Mancini and S. Levialdi (1996).
Alas I am undone - Reducing the risk of interaction?
HCI'96 Adjunct Proceedings. Imperial College, London, pp. 51-56.
- A. Dix (1998).
Hands Across the Screen - why scrollbars are on the right and other stories.
Interfaces, Spring 1998.
(also appears as Technical Report, SOCTR/97/06, School of Computing, Staffordshire University)
- A. Dix (1998).
Sinister Scrollbar in the Xerox Star Xplained.
Interfaces, Summer 1998.
(short update to the above article)
maintained by Alan Dix