1

For a software, say a user clicks on a "Save" button. The software is supposed to provide feedback on whether "Save" happened or failed but there was never any feedback. Is this considered a violation of "Minimal Surprise" or violation of "User Guidance"? From what I've read, it could be both.

Minimal Surprise: Users should never be surprised by the behaviour of a system. Whenever the user executes a command, there should always be some clear notification that the command was executed successfully, or that the attempt failed

User Guidance: If the user needs assistance, there should be help available. The interface should provide meaningful feedback when errors occur and provide context-sensitive user help facilities

Note: This is a homework but I've read several lectures and I can't determine which one would be violated in this case. Some ambiguity here for sure.

3
  • I assume you're referring to a list of heuristics. There are a lot of them. Could you say which list you're using? – Ken Mohnkern Feb 11 '20 at 21:18
  • Not sure what you mean by list of heuristics. This came in under Interaction Design Principles by Ian Sommerville. – Mo Fatty Feb 12 '20 at 6:33
  • There's a usability testing method called Heuristic Evaluation that's pretty well-known. I thought you were using a version of that. (That's what xul's answer below is referring to.) – Ken Mohnkern Feb 14 '20 at 14:36
0

Based on your explanations above. Minimal Surprise is violated.

Whenever the user executes a command, there should always be some clear notification that the command was executed successfully or not. If the user clicks on "Save", they should be given a response: whether the action was fruitful or futile.

1
  • 1
    Indeed, Minimal Surprise is violated. Verified. – Mo Fatty Feb 20 '20 at 22:19
3

You break heurestic number 1, for the visibility of system status. "Whenever users interact with a system, they need to know whether the interaction was successful"

Source: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/visibility-system-status/

1
  • I think I'm actually dealing with something different here. I'll quote from the text. "User interface principles covering user familiarity, consistency, minimal surprise, recoverability, user guidance and user diversity help guide the design of user interfaces" – Mo Fatty Feb 12 '20 at 6:42
0

It can be both. "minimal surprise" is being violated since the user has no idea if the save action was successful or not. If the save action failed, then "user guidance" is being violated as there is no explanation or guidance. Overall, I think the emphasis here might be on "minimal surprise" as there is no feedback presented to the user so they are left guessing as to whether the action registered and/or if it was successful. You can think of "minimizing surprise" sort of like "maximizing confirmation" (keeping in mind you can also over confirm things!)

0

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.