Final Exam, 12 June 2001

Please use a blue book. You may also write your answers on this sheet, but in any case, be sure to write your name on what you hand in! The questions are weighted as indicated. Please be brief.
  1. [15] State Fitt's Law, and explain how you could use it in designing a small GUI calculator like that shown below (it is xcalc, available on Unix systems). Does this design roughly match what Fitt's Law suggests? Identify any potential problems that you notice.
  2. [15] Describe the structure of the above display; consider in particular its use of fonts and borders. How well does this display represent the underlying functionality? Why? (Use concepts from classical and algebraic semiotics if you can, and be as precise and clear as you can.)
  3. [10] Define "adjacency pair" (in the sense of conversation analysis), give an example that is relevant to HCI, and explain why your example is relevant.
  4. [5] Define "participatory design" and explain its relevance to HCI.
  5. [10] Describe Labov's theory of narrative structure, and explain why it is relevant to HCI.
  6. [5] Define Peirce's notion of diagrammatic iconicity, and give an HCI example.
  7. [10] Say what XML is good for, what roles a DTD and XSL file play, and how all this relates to the notions of sign structure and representation.
  8. [5] Describe the parallel coordinate plot, and sketch an example.
  9. [5] State Principle F/C and give an application to user interface design.
  10. [10] The logout sequence in Windows NT begins by clicking on a box labelled "START", which then pops up a menu that includes a line "Shut Down", which if clicked upon pops up a window that is headed "Shut Down Windows" and has body beginning "Are you sure you want to:", followed by three menu choices and three confirmation buttons. Use concepts that you have learned in this class to criticize at least two aspects of this sequence.
  11. [5] Define "manifestation" in the sense of Andersen and give an HCI example.
  12. [5] Summarize the two major positions in the "agent squabble" and say who are their major proponents.

© 2001 Joseph Goguen