CritiGUI — Knowledge-based support for the user interface design process in Smalltalk
The Objectworks/Smalltalk programming environment offers a variety of interaction objects which allows programmers to design user interfaces for application. Programmers often lack the knowledge required to design good user interfaces. Beside the problem of consistency there are a lot of low level sources of errors, such as the size of buttons, the background and foreground colors, etc. User interfaces can be improved by providing this knowledge about design guidelines at this low level, thus giving programmers the opportunity to learn about the design of user interfaces CritiGUI is a knowledge-based critiquing system which supports programmers during the design process by providing this knowledge. It is an adaptable, after-task critiquing system which follows the analytical critiquing strategy.
CritiGUI has knowledge about the design of menus, buttons, windows and especially about the use of colors, which is often based on personal preferences and false intuition rather than on ergonomic considerations. It can criticize single interaction objects as well as groups or the whole screen. In this paper the architecture of CritiGUI, its features and its use in the Objectworks/Smalltalk programming environment will be presented.
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