Triangle User Experience Professionals Association (TriUXPA)

Recap: "Designing for Efficiency" workshop with Dr. Deborah Mayhew

28 Oct 2008 5:00 PM | Richard Phelps

Dr. Deborah Mayhew presented the second workshop in TriUPA's professional training series, "Designing for Efficiency." The workshop was held at CED on October 22nd, 2008.

Dr. Mayhew helpfully sent us both mayhew_1dayefficiencytriupafinal.pdf and an Excel spreadsheet template for conducting keystroke-level efficiency studies.

The workshop focused on helping UX professionals understand when and how to focus on efficiency as part of the user-centered design process.

Some key points:

  • Efficiency requires consideration of cognitive, motor, and perceptual activities.
  • Efficiency should be the key design goal when:
    • Users are highly trained
    • Users perform tasks repetitively with a very high frequency
    • Tasks are generally structured and linear, with low variability
    • User time is at a premium
    • Efficiency has a strong impact on customer service
  • Designers can improve their focus on efficiency by:
    • Setting task efficiency goals (a simple, but often-neglected approach)
    • Following design guidelines and principles, addressing cognitive, motor, and perceptual aspects of human-computer interaction
    • Apply unique requirements analysis data

  • Three primary techniques for improving design efficiency include:
    • Keystroke level modeling
    • Efficiency heuristic evaluations
    • Efficiency-focused user studies

Recommended reading:
Web Form Design book

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