Assignment 09: Due 04/09/18

Chapter 05: The Human-Machine Interface

Answer each of the following questions briefly, but completely. Use your textbook and any additional references you may need. Typewritten pages are preferred, but not required. You may submit handwritten pages, but they must be completely legible. Handwritten responses which cannot be read will receive no credit.

Keep your responses brief; there should not be a need for a multi-page response to any of the questions. A few sentences should be sufficient.

Please do not copy/paste paragraphs from Wikipedia; you will be discovered instantly, and you would never insult the intelligence of your boss or a paying client by handing them poorly written and possibly incorrect information. Not to mention the damage you do to your own credibility and reputation.

  1. (5 points) Vent your frustration! Cite an example of something you have used which has left you frustrated by its poor user interface. Note that this does not automatically imply a software interface; for example, one of my own pet peeves is most vending machines. Explain clearly what it is that you find badly designed or poorly implemented, and make some suggestions for improvement. Do not use my example of a vending machine!
  2. (5 points) Now do the opposite! Cite an example of something you have used which has impressed you with its well-designed interface. Again, “interface” does not necessarily mean software interface. For example, my current design crush is the cockpit of the Audi RS 7, which incorporates an 8-inch LCD screen that can fold down and recede completely into the dash (plus a huge number of other cleverly engineered design features...). Explain clearly what you find ingenious and/or well-executed. Again, do not use my example of an automotive cockpit.
  3. (5 points) Google “ergonomic design.” Do an image search, and find something awesome. Find an example of an object or product that you had no idea existed, but which becomes suddenly obvious to you that is a fantastic design. Explain clearly what you find ingenious and/or well-executed, and include a URL so that I can view the object/product as well. Find something that is not a computer mouse. Seriously. No mice.

You can download a .pdf copy of these questions, or find them in the ENGR 1301 course folder.

© Nancy Jo Getson 2015-18