From a Formal User Model to Design Rules

  • Paul Curzon
  • Ann Blandford
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 2545)


Design rules sometimes seem to contradict. We examine how a formal description of user behaviour can help explain the context when such rules are, or are not, applicable. We describe how they can be justified from a formally specified generic user model. This model was developed by formalising cognitively plausible behaviour, based on results from cognitive psychology. We examine how various classes of erroneous actions emerge from the underlying model. Our lightweight semi-formal reasoning from the user model makes predictions that could be used as the basis for further usability studies. Although the user model is very simple, a range of error patterns and design principles emerge.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Curzon
    • 1
  • Ann Blandford
    • 2
  1. 1.Middlesex University, Interaction Design CentreLondon
  2. 2.University College London Interaction CentreLondon

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