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Multimedia 3


Multimedia 3 Design Considerations for Multimedia Tannenbaum - Chapter 7 – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Multimedia 3

Multimedia 3
  • Design Considerations for Multimedia
  • Tannenbaum - Chapter 7

  • Multimedia development products are complex,
    multifaceted, and multidisciplinary, requiring
    the blending of skills and techniques from many
    different fields.
  • The design of multimedia productions employs many
    of the same methods as design in other
    disciplines, in addition to consideration unique
    to designing for interactivity.

  • Design is defined as creative process that draws
    upon elements, experience, and knowledge from
    many different sources (Tannenbaum, 1998, p
  • Blum (cited in Tannenbaum) defines design as a
    complex human process, subjected to continuing
    change (which often is controlled artificially),
    and deeply dependent on experience and knowledge.

Architectural Design
  • Group considerations of objectives and potential
    solutions by architects, engineers, and clients,
    and solitary thinking and drawing by an
    individual architect.
  • Have to have flexibility between architect and
    client and a merging of visions.

Cuff (1991)
  • Described six problems inherent in architectural
    design with may also appear in multimedia design
  • design in the balance
  • countless voices
  • professional uncertainty
  • perpetual discovery
  • surprise endings
  • a matter of consequence.

Engineering Design...
  • Builds much more on past designs than does
  • Concerned more with failure - predicting,
    identifying, and preventing errors in a design
    that may have serious consequences.
  • Replete with individual decision points and

Graphics and Creative Arts
  • A long process entailing many versions of the
    same work, each slightly altered and improved
    until the designer is satisfied with the product.
  • Cannot be merely the uncritical application of
    design rules which include those
  • governing lighting or arranging a scene,
    organizing or structuring a paragraph or chapter,
    or applying or avoiding certain color
  • Must include creativity and occasionally breaking
    the rules when that produces a better outcome.

Software Engineering Design
  • The careful creation of objectives and
    specifications for the software to be written.
  • The choice of algorithms and data structures
    follows from these specifications, as does the
    design of the user interface.
  • Structures for the design phase can be any or
    none of the following
  • process-oriented, data flow analysis, or

How it all Begins
  • Multimedia design begins with a need and an idea.
  • Most frequently the idea comes from someone other
    than the designer.
  • The first step in the development involves the
    definition of the specifications including
  • clarifying the problem and beginning the
    iterative specification process through a number
    of revisions until a reasonable detailed
    specification is agreed upon by the stakeholders
    in the project.

  • The specification process defines what is to be
    accomplished by the multimedia production while
    the design process defines how it will be
  • Alternately, the specifications may call for
    evaluation of the users accomplishment of
    certain instructional objectives as the basis for
    branching to new material, in which case, the
    design phase will then involve creating the
    details of the evaluation exercises an screens.
  • (Tannenbaum, 1998, 393-394)

Multimedia design
  • Shares many characteristics from each of these as
    well as having some unique to the field.
  • Unlike architecture and engineering, multimedia
    productions are not intended as permanent
  • Multimedia designers need to integrate elements
    from many different disciplines such as
  • graphic, video, and screen design, human-computer
    interface development, instructional and
    curriculum planning, computer science and
    software engineering, and many others.

Multimedia as a Medium
Interactivity (Furness and Barfield,
1995, pp. 5-6, cited in Tannenbaum, 1998)
  • The interface between the human and the machine
    can be thought to exist in direct and indirect
  • Direct paths are those which are physical or
    involve the transfer of signals in the form of
    light, sound or mechanical energy between the
    human and the machine.
  • We usually think of the direct pathways as the
    information medium.

Interactivity cont
  • The indirect pathways deal with the organization
    of symbols according to internal models which are
    shared by the human and the machine. These
    models cause the data elements conveyed on the
    display to have meaning or semantic content.
  • We can think of the indirect pathways as the
    message that is transmitted through the medium.
    Our ability to input control actions into the
    machine makes the medium interactive, in that
    messages can be sent in two directions.

  • In order to achieve smooth, effective
    interactivity between a user and a multimedia
    production, many different elements must be
  • Multimedia designers must always consider the
    user first and make the computer do what is
    necessary to achieve the desired interactivity.

What makes things interactive?
  • The four Cs
  • Control,
  • Consistency,
  • Context, and
  • Corroboration
  • can be used to evaluate whether a project is
    interactive at all and, if so, whether its
    interactivity design is successful.

Does Communication Occur Between the User and the
  • According to Cathcart and Gumpert (1985) cited in
    Tannenbaum, 1998, p. 397, human-computer
    interaction occurs in three ways
  • unobtrusive functions,
  • computer-facilitated functions, and
  • person-computer interpersonal functions.

The Dyadic Model
  • The interaction between a person and a computer
    can only imitate dyadic interpersonal
    communication -
  • a computer prompts the user for input
  • the computer asks questions and the user responds
  • People interface with the computer through a
    keyboard or other input device
  • The computer responds via visual displays, error
    messages, or simulated speech.

Dyadic Differences
  • A computer is programmed, therefore,
    communication that occurs between the computer
    and its user is to an extent predetermined,
    predictable, structured, non-dynamic, and
  • The degree of control is much less ambiguous
    between computer and user than person-to-person
    interactions. The computer discards everything
    it cannot process or does not need.

Interactivity Interface
  • According to Marcus (1993) the user interface
    must achieve effective communication via the use
  • Metaphors,
  • Mental models,
  • Navigation of models,
  • Look, and
  • Feel.

  • A multimedia producer should attempt to achieve
    communication within the production that is as
    natural (interpersonal) as possible, but not at
    the cost of requisite precision.
  • Multimedia designer needs to strive for
    interactivity that is as close as possible to
    human interactions, within the constraints of
    budget and cost-effectiveness.

  • Interactive interfaces often employ metaphors to
    help users remember and use various functions.
  • Common metaphors include windows, desktops,
    and buttons.
  • Interface designers are constantly employing new
  • A metaphor should be familiar to the user, have a
    single clear meaning or implication, be naturally
    and locally related to the function it denotes,
    and be employed only to facilitate interactivity,
    not because it is cute or clever.

More on Metaphors
  • Icons are a form of metaphor.
  • Unless metaphor and icons are clear and
    understandable, with no distracting implications,
    users may be mislead by them into cognitive
    train wrecks.

  • Research in the fields of educational, gestalt,
    and applied cognitive psychology has much to
    contribute to successful design for
  • Many finding in Gestalt psychology are of
    consequence for interface design.
  • Color associations, connotations, and preferences
    are important in interface design.

  • Educational psychologists have found that people
    learn more efficiently when more than one
    modality is employed.
  • However the number and choice of modalities must
    be carefully coordinated with the subject matter
    and the users involved.
  • Learning theories also stress that students
    should be active learners multimedia productions
    are clearly one effective method for providing
    the most effective reinforcement is positive and
    intermittent, or irregularly spaced.

  • Interface building tools help multimedia design
    by providing templates and code generators for
    generic forms of interfaces.
  • There is a cognitive model of interface building,
    the GOMS (Goals, Operators, Methods, and
    Selection rules) model, that has been used with
    some success in the analysis of certain human
    cognitive activities and may provide a basis for
    certain interactive interface designing.

  • It is important for the multimedia interface
    designer to consider the intended users in terms
    of their culture and preferred style of
  • The choice of style(s) to be employed should be
    dictated by the nature of the material and the
    preferences of the intended users.
  • It is often considered good practice for a
    designer to include two or more styles of
    interaction simultaneously.

  • Absolute, inviolable rules for graphics and
    screen design are not possible.
  • Every situation requires a designer to exercise
  • General principles do exist and are as follows

General Principles - 1
  • The more time spent on comprehensive and detailed
    planning, the better.
  • Develop clean, attractive, informative titles.
  • Keep screens simple, conveying one major idea per
  • Avoid lengthy textual material, which should be
    provided in printed format rather than on-screen.

General Principles - 2
  • Keep screen design uncluttered, using adequate
    margins and sufficient white space.
  • Use images carefully, avoiding distractions and
    irrelevant material
  • Minimize variations in font size and style to
    avoid detracting from the message.
  • Choose type fonts and sizes that are clear and
    easy to read, yet direct emphases appropriately

General Principles - 3
  • Avoid the use of excessive numbers of colors,
    using no more than two or three per screen, and
    normally only for emphasis.
  • Use bright colors for the foreground, pale colors
    for the back ground.
  • Avoid clashing colors.
  • Charts and graphs should be carefully crafted to
    display the relevant data and clarify the salient
    points, avoiding clutter, distractions, and

Schneiderman (1987)
  • Eight golden rules of dialog design
  • Strive for consistency
  • enable frequent users to use shortcuts
  • offer informative feedback
  • design dialogs to yield closure
  • offer simple error handling
  • permit easy reversal of actions
  • support internal locus of control
  • reduce short-term load.
  • Cited in Tannenbaum, 1998, pp. 430-431

Users and Systems Make Errors
  • Multimedia designers must plan accordingly,
    endeavoring to prevent and avoid errors, if
    possible, and providing useful error messages and
    minimally disruptive remedies.
  • To the extent possible, a program should be able
    to recognize different forms of error, so that it
    can provide helpful suggestions to the user to
    correct the problem.

  • Designers should provide as much useful
    information and opportunity for error correction
    as possible for users, such as help screens and
    undo commands.
  • Error messages should be written clearly, be
    specific, be constructive in helping suggest
    appropriate remedies, and always be courteous and
    not condescending.

Intelligent Interfaces
  • Four elements are needed for broad-based
    intelligent interface
  • a natural language interface
  • an inference engine that operates within the
    context of the current interaction to access the
    appropriate portions(s) of
  • a knowledge base, and
  • a knowledge-base maintenance tool.
  • Such an interface is currently impractical for
    most multimedia production both in terms of
    development costs and operating resources.

  • Hypermedia consists of nodes, where content is
    stored and displayed, and links, which provide
    connections among the nodes to facilitate a
    users access to the content in his or her chosen
  • The nodes and links for a network navigation of
    which is accomplished with a program called a

  • Under different circumstances, using different
    combinations of hardware and software, and with
    different objectives for the production,
    sometimes hypermedia is the best solution for a
    multimedia program sometimes it is not.

  • Because multimedia productions consist of several
    different media that need to be displayed for the
    user simultaneously and because the timing of the
    various media must be coordinated,
    synchronization is an important consideration in
    multimedia development.
  • The perception of the synchronization of three
    elements (temporal, spatial, and content) needs
    to be flawless, not perfect in fact. (see
    Tannenbaum, 441)

  • Critics have called challenges to multimedia
    production a step back because some capabilities
    that are available for standard multimedia are
    not available on the Web.
  • The basis of the limitations is the bandwidth
    available on the WWW.
  • Design decisions for multimedia on the Web need
    to be made to maximize the strengths of the Web
    delivery of material and the interactivity if
    affords, rather than consideration of absolute
    fidelity of image or sound reproduction.

  • Careful attention is needed to ensure that WWW
    does not become MMM (multimedia mediocrity).

The End
  • First, users should have some level of control
    ovre an experience - where they are going, how
    they get there, and how easily they can sopt and

  • Second, the look and feel of behavioral elements
    - whats on the screen, and audio or mucis as
    weel - should be consistent.

  • Third the interactivity should have a context.
    Is it related to the information around it?

  • Fourth, the interactivitiy should reflect the
    nature of the content - that is, it should
    corroborate the content.
  • If theres a video on a Web site or a CD-ROM, is
    the video conducive to understand the content?
  • Or should that material be in the form of text?

Unobtrusive Functions
  • Occur when a computer is present in the
    interaction but not noticed
  • use of a telephone,
  • digital sound recordings,
  • scanners in grocery and other retail outlets

Computer-facilitated Interaction
  • Occurs when a person uses a computer to expedite
    communication (i.e., people are communicating
    through or via a computer rather than with a
  • e-mail,
  • voice-mail,
  • presentation software
  • allow the control of space and time throught the
    computer and/or a network.

Person-computer Interpersonal Functions
  • Treat the computer as partner in the
    communication act or the person and the computer
    are thought of as a dyad, communicating with one
    another. No longer is the person communicating
    with another by means of the computer, but rather
    the person is interacting with the computer
  • ATMs,
  • automated telephone operators for directory
    assistance or credit card calls,
  • working with a word processor,
  • playing a computer game, or interacting with a
    multimedia production.

  • Fundamental terms, images, and concepts that are
    easily recognized, understood, and remembered.

Mental Model
  • Appropriate organization and representation of
    data, functions, work tasks/activities, and roles.

Navigation of Model
  • Movement among data, functions, work
    tasks/activities, and roles depicted in the model
    that provide speedy access and facilitate

  • Appearance characteristics that efficiently
    convey information to the user in an appealing

  • Interaction techniques that operate efficiently
    and provide an appealing perceptual experience.