Familiarity Achieved through Common User Interface Elements


FACE - 6994

Keywords home systems interfaces, user interfaces, ergonomics


Start Date: 11-MAY-92 / Duration: 24 months

[ contact / participants ]


Objectives

The FACE project addresses the major unresolved issue connected with home systems products: how to make them easy to use. Many such products have features that lie unused because of the perceived complexity of the user interface (UI). The problem is aggravated by the lack of agreement between manufacturers on such aspects as panel layouts and control strategies.

The objective of FACE is to agree a set of rules and guidelines for the design of UI through work involving manufacturers and academic UI experts from the field of human-computer interaction. This includes the application of these methods and tools in order to analyse user, task and environmental requirements, to develop and evaluate concrete UI prototypes, and to implement these components in demonstrators.

Progress and Results

The work considered the quality of the UI in terms of usability and efficacy, resulting in the selection of the most appropriate interaction techniques. The benefits of various techniques such as graphics, colour, icons and multimedia were investigated and designs developed and evaluated using computer-controlled simulations and emulations. These iterative developments and evaluations required several investigations in the field and close cooperation with end users.

The main goal was to demonstrate that an agreed set of UI techniques based on the concept of "familiarity" can make home electronic products, with a wide range of functions, simple to use. Sub-goals were to:

The consortium has presented a preliminary version of the "Guidelines and Rules for Design of User Interfaces for Electronic Home Devices". This document consists of three parts: General Rules, Common Elements and Appendices. The General Rules provide basic information about user interface design. The Common Elements part consists of a commonly agreed set of the rules for the FACE user interface elements. Appendices lists a set of translations, abbreviations and references.


CONTACT POINT

Mr David Fanshawe
Philips Consumer Electronics
Cross Oak Lane
UK - Redhill RH1 5HA
tel: + 44 / 293-815-5020
fax: + 44 / 293-815-5050

Participants

PHILIPS CONSUMER ELECTRONICS - UK - C
THOMSON CONSUMER ELECTRONICS - F - P
THOMSON-CSF - F - P
LOUGBOROUGH UNIVERSITY, HUSAT - UK - P
UNIVERSITÄT STUTTGART, IAT/IAO - D - P
LEGRAND SA - F - P
BTICINO - I - A


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FACE - 6994, December 1993


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html version of synopsis by Nick Cook