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Structuring Displays: a psychological guide
May, J., Scott, S. & Barnard, P.
Eurographics Tutorial Notes Series Geneva: EACG
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This Guide is intended to help people who design computer displays to use psychological principles to choose the visual appearance of computer interface objects, their arrangement on the display, and their dynamic behaviour. It will introduce you to some psychological ideas about perception - the process by which people see objects in the world, recognise them and search between them. You don't need to be a psychologist to read this Guide -we've tried to avoid using psychological jargon -but when you have read it, you should be able to use these psychological ideas to analyse your display designs. The techniques this Guide teaches you will let you decide how difficult it will be for people to group objects together, to tell objects apart, to search for objects, and to switch their attention from one part of the display to another. The Guide is organised into several sections. Each section introduces you to some ideas about perception, with some examples, and shows you how these ideas can be seen to affect the usability of display designs. The sections build on each other, introducing the simpler ideas first and the more complicated ideas later, and so this isn't a book that you can 'dip into', like a collection of guidelines might be. You have to read it through section by section - but when you have done that, we hope that you'll have learnt enough to put your new skills into practice, without needing to keep the Guide by your side. An Exercise Companion, containing answers to the exercises within the guide, is included as an appendix.