William Newman
Proceedings of DIS '97, Designing Intereactive Systems, 18-20 August 1997, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, pp 239-245
Designing Interactive Systems,
18-20 August 1997,
Amsterdam, The Netherlands,
pp 239-245.
Critical parameters are quantitative measures of performance that may be used to determine the overall ability
of a design to serve its purpose. Although critical parameters figure in almost every field of design where there
is a demand for progressive improvement, they do not appear to figure sig-nificantly in the design of interactive
systems. As a result, systems are designed that are recognizably different from other systems but not
necessarily better at doing the job in-tended. This paper discusses the role of critical parameters in design,
and illustrates their lack of use in interactive sys-tem design by presenting a number of of examples drawn
from the HCI literature. It identifies a consequent need for research to establish critical parameters for
applications and to build models of the performance of designs against these parameters. Some ideas are
presented on how critical pa-rameters might be established for specific applications, and the paper concludes
by summarising some of the benefits that might be gained from moving in this direction.
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