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Glossary » Application Domains

ten minute rule

“Any system which cannot be well taught to a layman in ten minutes, by a tutor in the presence of a responding setup, is too complicated.” — Ted Nelson (Dream Machines, 1974)

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text entry box

a box into which text can be typed, as opposed to areas in which text is simply displayed but can’t be edited.

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a collection of synonyms defined to help handle the wide variety of terminology people may use in indicating the same objects or commands, especially useful in search engines.

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a small window, usually a floating palette, with a set of small icons that perform operations or set a mode of input, such as the drawing tools in a drawing program (paintbrush, pencil, eraser, fill tool, lasso, etc.).

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touch tablet

or drawing tablet; a large flat surface that a user can touch with a hand or a pen (or a puck) to control the position of the pointer on the screen. Touch tablets typically work in absolute coordinates, meaning that…

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touch typing

a level of typing skill characterized by the lack of need to visually locate the letters on a keyboard. Touch typing represents skilled performance, but not necessarily expert performance.

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teaching people how to use computer systems. Training time can be a critical factor in the cost effectiveness of a computer system, and thus a critical usability factor in design. Trainers get a lot of exposure to the learning difficulties…

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training wheels interface

a user interface that hides or disables advanced features to make it easier for novices to familiarize themselves with basic features. Users can then turn on the more advanced options when they’re ready.

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the design of letterforms, and the selective use of appropriate type (in appropriate fonts) for the display of text. Typographers often specialize in the design of fonts and of logos, but typography plays a role in any context in which…

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video communications

systems that allow two-way or multi-way calling with live video, essentially just a telephone system with an additional visual component. Primarily because of cost (but also compatibility problems), early use of video systems was primarily in advance-scheduled videoconference meeting rooms.…

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systems permitting people at separate locations to communicate via video and audio.

Some common design considerations for videoconferencing systems include:

desktop vs. conference room – is the system designed for personal use or for group meetings? gaze awareness and eye

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web browser

software that enables people to access, view, and move between documents on the web, especially those prepared in HTML. Example browsers include Netscape Navigator, Internet Explorer, Opera, Mosaic, and lynx. One of the most challenging aspects of website design is…

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a collection of web documents that appear in a common framework to the user, either through the use of a common addressing scheme (a shared domain name or URL) or through the use of a unifying look and feel.

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the feature that moves entire words to the next line when the end of a line is reached (during typing, or whenever text is displayed), rather than chopping off the line or splitting words in half.

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workflow systems

software allowing documents to be routed through organizations through a relatively-fixed process.

A simple example of a workflow application is an expense report in an organization: an employee enters an expense report and submits it. A copy is archived then…

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wow factor

the degree to which the first impression of something makes a person say Wow! A surprise, originality, coolness factor.

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“yoozability” is not the correct spelling of “usability”. 

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