Talk:Designing Social Interaction Software

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This page is for discussion of issues about the INFO 608 course on Designing Social Interaction Software. Gerry 19:14, 27 March 2007 (EDT)
To enter a new issue, make sure that you are logged in and then click on the edit tab at the top or an [edit] link on the right. In the editable area, enter a new issue heading by preceeding the heading with two "=" signs and following the heading with another two "=" signs. Then add a new line starting with a single ":" symbol and stating your question or issue. Finally, add a line with just 4"~" symbols (no spaces between) to sign your name and timestamp. ~ ~ ~ ~
To respond to something on this talk page, click on edit. Go to the line you want to respond to. Start a new line and precede your comment with one more colon than is on the line you are commenting on. Finally, sign your name and time with 4 tilde symbols. Gerry 19:15, 27 March 2007 (EDT)
I found the help to be informative in terms of the special characters needed to format the post. I found them using the help on the left or just going to the Wikipedia Cheatsheet. Fernando 02:55, 25 April 2007 (EDT)

Issue 1

Statement of issue or question
First response.
Response to first response.
Second response.


You can quickly post a new issue by clicking on the "+" sign next to the edit tab at the top of the page to "add a comment to this discussion". Simply enter the text for the new heading and then enter the text for your issue. Finish with the 4 tildes.
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A Start

This is very new to me and as such I will start with this post.

Eric 20:40, 3 April 2007 (EDT)

First Thoughts

This approach to learning is unique. I am finding that it uses different intellectual faculties than face-to-face communication might entail. One has to call on different modes of thinking to collaborate in an online environment. I enjoy it.

Seth E 20:22, 9 April 2007 (EDT)

The Lounge

I am able to get into the sandbox, but when I try to go into the lounge, the whiteboard won't load. Anyone have any ideas or having the same problem? K8 23:43, 3 April 2007 (EDT) Well it seems I answered my own question, but for anyone else having problems it took my computer a couple of minutes to load the whiteboard. The answer is patience! (smiling) K8 23:50, 3 April 2007 (EDT)

    • I agree with Seth, I almost feel that I am experencing the theory that is behind the VMT in the design class environment.Bku22 22:22, 15 May 2007 (EDT)


A number of people have said that the bookstore is having troubles with our textbook. Either they do not have it or they do not have the new version (2nd edition). You can:

Gerry 21:06, 4 April 2007 (EDT)

Displaying images

Someone asked how to display images. I clicked on the "Upload file" link to the left. Selected a file from my computer and stored it on the wiki server with a name of "MF_star.gif". Then I displayed various size images like this (click on "edit" to see the format of the size and label parameters): File:MF star.gif

File:MF star.gif
The Math Forum logo



Gerry 01:10, 9 April 2007 (EDT)

Universal Passwords from Chapter one in Text

ID Sharp,Rogers and Preece

I have been lurking around the discussion forum for things to discuss and now that I am a little more comfortable with the wiki I am going to add a few thoughts from the chapters we have read and it would be wonderful to hear your thoughts on these issues.

I love the idea of having one universal password. I suffer from passworditus (Box 1.3 p23). I also hate the idea of what would happen if someone found out my universal password. Although no one has hacked into anything of mine online so far. Anyone have any idea how we can develop one password? SSN? DL number? Random UPC?K8 16:36, 22 April 2007 (EDT)

Control Issues! Chapter two of the textbook

An interesting part of this chapter was the section on ID control issues (Box 2.3 p80). It talks about how much control a user has over his/her computer and how much of the operations are controlled by the computer. One approach is called Direct manipulation. This is for those demanding total control over every bite on the computer, nothing added or deleted with their knowledge. Another is called comman-based interaction where the user can have the computer do some abstract commands like deleting and editing for you. It made me ask myself, how much control do I really want over my computer? I don't really want to choose where my newly installed software files are being stored and I certainly don't want to lose my find file options and have to remember where they are. How much control do you want? If we have more control will this make the computer more useful? Is this a big factor with ID (Interaction design)or has this issue already been determined by existing product sales?K8 18:35, 22 April 2007 (EDT)

It's all about the white space, Chapter 3 of the text

When presenting information on the computer screen, how much white space is too much? The text on p99 states that too much white space makes information harder to find (Spool et al.,1997). I have found that with most web pages it's difficult to find the links among the clutter and sometimes there are so many links that I end up going in circles. Drexels is a great example of this, too many of everything. Maybe too much white space would require that I use my scrolling option too much? Before you decide read the article by Boulton, Jan 07 at this link.

I am a big fan of whitespace on my computer as well as in my home decorating. How much white is too white?K8 20:01, 22 April 2007 (EDT)

  • Too much whitespace can suggest to users that there is not enough substantial content to display, which definitely an assumption t to avoid if possible. Kate mentions that some webpages (i.e. Drexel's website) have so many links that users end up going around in circles trying to find their content. I think this may also be a consequence of poorly organized link categories. For example, if information is categorized in a hierarchy under an ambiguous link title, this may cause confusion among users when they need to check several tabs or navigation links to find what they are looking for.

Olivia 20:25, 4 May 2007 (EDT)

Team B week 4 because we cant get on the whiteboard

This is the story of a team that has had many communication issues because of the VMT software. We are choosing to meet here instead ignore our frustrations.

So Dave and fernando I know we have a list of the processes we want to include on the VMT and eventually we will access them. Maybe we can work on another part of the project?K8 22:06, 30 April 2007 (EDT)


How about:

  • Use Cases
  • Scenarios Dave 21:55, 30 April 2007 (EDT)

Use Case #1

Undo Typo/Erroneous Entry

Main Success Scenario: User is able to undo typo or insert of erroneous data.

Fernando 22:08, 30 April 2007 (EDT)

Sally is new to the whiteboard and she is attempting to fill in an equation to calculus problem that many have been working on for weeks. After 10 minutes of typing and making changes she notices that her solution isn't correct and would like to go back to were she started. She can't just hit a button and undo back to where she started.

Maybe we can reconstruct the list

undo underline bold add color to just one letter instead of the entire text box. K8 22:06, 30 April 2007 (EDT)

Use Case #2

Dave 22:11, 30 April 2007 (EDT)

Sense of Presence

  • User logs in
  • System determines user is at keyboard
  • System sets user status as online
  • All other users see that user is online
  • User decides to go to the restroom, sets presence as away in client window
  • System sets user status as ‘Be Right Back’
  • All other users see that user will return shortly

Use case three

"highlighting or coloring certain words in a text box"

Jose is helping Sara with a simple equation. He is chating the instructions and then also writing the names of the processes on the white board. He wants Sara to be able to find the corresponding instructions about the processes in the chat discussion. He wishes that the process on the whiteboard could be colored coded to match the instructions in the chat session.K8 22:18, 30 April 2007 (EDT)

Use Case #3

Text Formatting

Main Success Scenario: User is able to format text (bold, highlight, color, italics, font, font size).

K8 22:14, 30 April 2007 (EDT)

Did you see the email from Gerry?

He's experiencing the same issues and they should be resolved tomorrow. Wonder if that means we get an extension? Fernando 22:18, 30 April 2007 (EDT)

Hey I wrote a senerio for use case 3K8 22:19, 30 April 2007 (EDT)

I updated the USECASE 3 Section with your user name. Fernando 22:23, 30 April 2007 (EDT):
LOL - I just realized the other section you posted Kate.::Fernando 22:25, 30 April 2007 (EDT)

Do we want to just meet tomorrow night?K8 22:20, 30 April 2007 (EDT)

I would prefer that. This is frustrating as well. Fernando 22:21, 30 April 2007 :(EDT)

Ok see you tomorrow night.K8 22:26, 30 April 2007 (EDT)

Should the computer say "I'm sorry!" Chapter 5 text box page 194

Should computer systems say they are sorry when they have errors? DO they really have errors or is it human error that caused the error and if it was human error then how can the human tell the computer they are sorry? Will the computer feel there is sincerity in your text? will I feel that the computer is sincere? Would I feel better if the computer apologized for causing me such frustration? I suppose if the computer fixed itself first then apologized I would accept and acknowledge and move on! K8 16:10, 4 May 2007 (EDT)

  • I agree with the text that interface designers should consider what type of text they use in message boxes, warning boxes, or error pop-ups. For example, if the interface was expecting a certain value to be entered by the user and a string with too many characters was entered, it would not be appropriate to use a warning message such as "WRONG! You entered too many characters, idiot!"
  • However, the message should also not state something such as "I am sorry I am so inflexible...I can only accept a value of no more than 10 characters. Sorry for the inconvenience." All systems will have constraints that the users may exceed, but I don't think this necessarily warrants the computer to apologize for these pre-defined requirements.
  • In the cases where the problem is truly a system error...I don't think the errors should exist long enough to even warrant making the decision whether the message should be apologetic or not. These true system errors should be corrected as soon as possible

Olivia 20:16, 4 May 2007 (EDT)

I agree also that the interface should let you know the issues with the errors you are experiencing. Other than the ubiquitous "error 1305" see our website for more information or merely the event log, made famous by Microsoft. Some sort of recognition that a human thinking person is on the other end of the knowledge pipe would be acceptable.
Unless of course the computer would say it is sorry for your problems and give me a 5 dollar gift certificate at Starbucks!

Eric 06:36, 9 May 2007 (EDT)

I was surprised by Microsoft's error reporting tool. My PC kept crashing and could not figure out why. I would normally answer that I did NOT want to send the error report (Microsoft didn't send me a check as a tester) but one day I ended up accidentally clicking send report. Internet Explorer launched and gave me a diagnosis of the problem and how I could fix it. It ended up being a problem with my BIOS. Once that was updated, the problem was gone. This is one case where the system recovered and suggested a way to fix itself. I found this kind of interaction very useful. I've continued to send error reports but have yet to see this kind of feedback and still no check from Microsoft.  :-)

Fernando 21:07, 9 May 2007 (EDT)

I actually I agree with the posting above; in that understanding error message should not require a CS degree.
However, we as live organism should also know that computer are going to have errors. We should not full ourselves into thinking a computer could every replace a human. I blame the adminstration (decision makers) and/or designers of software for most error problem. And with the government sometimes the procurement law sometimes requires procurement of software, which is not that good (GroupWise e-mail program). On the other hand we should not expect the adminstration or designers to be perfect either. Machine should not be made to act like human when they can not come close to thinking like one, let alone really acting like one. They should never say sorry, but could give tips on how to fix the problem. Just like gages machines do.

Bku22 22:38, 15 May 2007 (EDT)


Chapter 3 delved into cognition. I thought the subject matter was fairly interesting. Breaking down cognition into appropriate categories—attention, perception, memory, learning, language, and reasoning—made this chapter fascinating. In designing a user system, these elements have to be understood in order to generate an effective user interface. On a metaphorical level, reality engineering, as a distillate process related to the construction and management of a reality-scheme, is totally reliant upon cognition.

Seth E 00:57, 22 May 2007 (EDT)

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