Teaching Usability Principles with Patterns and Guidelines

Part of the IFIP – International Federation for Information Processing book series (IFIPAICT, volume 289)

We present a comparative study of the effectiveness of patterns and guidelines as aids to teaching web interaction design. We recruited two groups of novice designers and taught them web design from scratch using a popular authoring tool. We used two balanced sets of guidelines and patterns that in essence present the same advice in two different formats. After the initial training, subjects learned about usability and usability principles with the help of one of these sets. The groups then engaged in two common activities that professional designers must perform, that is designing and evaluating web sites. The final design artefact that was delivered in all tests was a working web site. Here we present the quantitative results for the design phase of this experiment. Evaluation of the designs was conducted by three independent evaluators, using defined metrics. We conclude that both patterns and guidelines help with the design of usable sites, however the advice presented using our patterns format had a greater impact on the novice designers' performance than the same advice in our guidelines format.

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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Communications and Computing Research CentreSheffield Hallam UniversitySheffieldUK

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