Interface design on the students’ task.

Brief Report

Students’ Cultural Perception towards the design of the Interactive CD-ROM-based Instructional Material (ICDM)

The Question
Does the design have any effect on the task to be performed by students in different ethnic groups?

What is a task?
The task that has to carry out by the user is one of an essential factor to be considered by the designer of an interface designer.  Regarding the user action the perhaps the closest definition that can be considered is a Control Task Analysis (CTA) by Sanderson (2003) who defined CTA as what needs to be done for a work domain to be controlled efficiently. However, if we look at in the perspective of instruction, Mager (1995) defined the task as a series of steps leading to a meaningful outcome. Every job is made up of a collection of the task. Each of the tasks has a beginning and an end with the steps in between.

Scope of the study
In this study, the task we are looking at is any task run by the user that has been affected by their cultural values. The usability studies that are conducted in this study is to determined the cause and effect of the element of interface design to the task since one of the design criteria questioned by Wilding (1998) on usability is can users quickly learn and efficiently interact with the system.

The Methodology

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The Findings
The analyses clearly suggest that despite no relationship between the colors and the ethnic values. There is a little or almost no evidence showing the relationships between the usability attributes and the student’s believe in colors that reflect their ethnic culture, the data yields five outcomes.

  1. The color that does not affect the cultural values does not affect their learning task.
  2. The colors that affect the personal and emotional values do not affect the learning task.
  3. The learning task can be affected by the students’ favorite colors in its relationship to their ethnical cultural values
  4. The relationship can be seen between colors and personal values and
  5. The relationship can be seen between colors and emotional values.

Extract from the research paper:
Zahari Hamidon, Abdullah Md. Noor & Raja Maznah Raja Hussain (2005). Students’ Cultural Perception towards the design of the Interactive CD-ROM-based Instructional Material (ICDM) presented in International Symposium on E-Learning (ISEL) 2005, 25-26 July 2005, Promenade Hotel, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia organised by Universiti Malaysia Sabah.

Anderson, P.M. (2003). Cognitive Work Analysis. In Carroll, J.M. (Ed.)HCI Models, Theories and Frameworks. San Francisco, CA: Morgan Kaufmann Publisher

Mager, R. F. (1995). Making Instruction Work or Skillbloomers. California, USA : Lake Publishing Co.

Wilding, C. (1998). Practical GUI Screen Design: Making It Usable. New York, U.S.A.:CHI ‘98 ACM Press.