User Interface

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Kwaku Kisiedu 200902014 User interface programming in Java Assignment 1 Computer Science

Q. Why does software fails in Ghana from the user interface perspective
User-Interface is the prime factor that decides the fate of any software application. Most of the technological innovations are powered by an unconventional, user interface design. It is quite hard to seek approval from the users and acquire market share.This is the only factor that influences usability specialists to lay major emphasis on user interface designing. Many software projects in Ghana today move too quickly and despite its importance the user interface tier is often overlooked .This causes a number of problems For instance the computer literacy rate in Ghana is very low and the proficiency rate is even lower so a user should be able to learn all basic functions of the software within one or two hours. In contrast, most software today in Ghana is so full of confusing detail that novice users need to devote great effort to learn to navigate the various necessary features. Even then, they may be unable to perform many functions they require and may find themselves continuously frustrated by "help" features that are no help at all Help files are often based on the idiosyncratic organization of the menu hierarchy and thus are difficult to navigate or to actually yield helpful answers. The words a user enters while searching in the "help" index are not present in the index because, once again, the common sense user concepts regarding functions that ought to be present in the software are described. In brief, the logic of the organization of categories features and the names of those categories are not apparent to users.. These problems arise because the logic and organization of software categories menu is often dictated by engineers and programmers who have worked for lengthy periods on various features of the software. Also, subsequent modifications of earlier software contain new features that are added on here and there, with little regard to how they might fit into a logical organization. It is difficult for these developers who have lived for months, or even years, with the development of a product to distance themselves sufficiently from the software and to perceive it from the perspective of the end user. As a consequence, the hierarchy of categories used to access various features of a program is usually a communication disaster because the software developer is enamored with different styles and types of graphics, various types of

windows, each littered with varied text and links, presumed to yield an attractive or appealing appearance. The hard coding of Modal behavior for example in Check Point or Pay point systems for super markets force the user to perform tasks in a specific order or otherwise change the user's expected responses. Modal behaviors generally feel uncomfortable to the user because they restrict more intuitive or natural responses, but if consciously and thoughtfully applied they can be used to advantage. For example, "Wizard" type tools simplify complex tasks by modal behavior. Warnings and error messages are also typically modal, forcing users to first address a critical issue before returning to the task,it is necessary but interrupts the user's concentration, and so is another reason to avoid unnecessary warning and error messages Most applications are designed to be used by a single user, preserving the work environment may be as simple as creating a few registry entries such as the window's latest size and position. However, applications designed for multiple users or installed on different computers must address additional issues. Most common among these are video issues both hardwarespecific involving the display and user-specific such as poor visual accommodation or colorblindness. But in Ghana developers fail to keep that in mind regardless of programming, the performance characteristics of the user's display will affect your application's appearance the screen resolution and display type. The problems mentioned stem from lack of understanding of user needs. They are testimony to a software developer's automatic reliance on his or her own intuition, knowledge, and individual perspective and worse yet, need to show off the complexity and versatility of a product. The net effect is that users cannot easily access the various functions they like to use so the software is not user friendly. To remedy this problem development of software should include participation by nonprogrammers who are trained to understand the consumer's point of view. When this point of view is properly integrated into the software design, all aspects of the software including, introductory or tutorial materials, help features would require the least possible effort from end users.

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