J. L. Cabaniss, ``Lessons Learned from
Applying HCI Techniques to the Redesign of a User Interface'', M.S.
Thesis, Technical Report CS97-548, Department of Computer Science and
Engineering, University of California, San Diego, June 1997.
In the last decade, the power of computers has risen, while the costs
have rapidly declined. With the abundance of software products currently
being developed, users are less likely to spend time learning a complex
interface. It is important that software developers not only create
beneficial services, but also create usable systems. There has been much
research in the area of Human Computer Interface (HCI), yet there are
still programs that suffer from poor interface designs. Chen's C Star
Diagram restructuring planning tool is an example of a useful program
that can benefit from an improved interface design. Chen's user-studies
revealed many problems with the interface design. We looked to the HCI
principles of consistency, visibility, the use of language, and work-flow
scenarios to explain the problems seen in this interface. In this
research, we have redesigned the C Star Diagram restructuring planning
tool interface with the help of HCI principles and methods. We found
that, many of the issues we faced involved trade-offs between the
different principles of HCI design as well as the limitations of current
technology. We have created a set of domain-specific rules of design to
address these problems and help us redesign the interface. Our research
provides an iterative approach to the redesign of an existing interface.