Date: March 21, 2001
Anthony Hornof — University of Oregon

The same way that engineers in other disciplines build models to predict how their systems will perform when turned loose in the real world, interface designers can also build engineering models to predict aspects of usability before they conduct time-consuming and expensive user observation studies. Methodologies already exist for routine construction of such models, referred to as cognitive models because they simulate the human information processing involved in using a computer to accomplish a task.

A research project underway at the University of Oregon is investigating how cognitive modeling can be used to evaluate the usability and visual efficiency of computer screen layouts and web pages. The goal is to produce a tool that programmers and interface designers could use during the design process. The tool would take as input a description of the screen layout and a set of tasks for which someone would use the layout, and the tool would produce as output a prediction of visual search times for the different tasks and recommendations for improving the visual layout. More information on this research program is available at URL.

About the Speaker

Anthony Hornof has been an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Oregon since September, 1999. His primary research interest is human-computer interaction. Professor Hornof received a Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan in August, 1999. His dissertation advisor was David Kieras. Before graduate school, he worked for Deloitte and Touche, implementing technology solutions for New York businesses. He received a B.A. in Computer Science from Columbia University in 1988, and graduated from Aloha High school in 1983.

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