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Designing and Engineering Time: The Psychology of Time Perception in Software
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Designing and Engineering Time: The Psychology of Time Perception in Software

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by Steven C. Seow Ph.D.
 

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ISBN-10: 0321509188

ISBN-13: 9780321509185

Pub. Date: 05/16/2008

Publisher: Addison-Wesley

Build Applications, Websites, and Software Solutions that Feel Faster, More Efficient, and More Considerate of Users’ Time!

One hidden factor powerfully influences the way users react to your software, hardware, User Interfaces (UI), or web applications: how those systems utilize users’ time. Now, drawing on the nearly 40 years

Overview

Build Applications, Websites, and Software Solutions that Feel Faster, More Efficient, and More Considerate of Users’ Time!

One hidden factor powerfully influences the way users react to your software, hardware, User Interfaces (UI), or web applications: how those systems utilize users’ time. Now, drawing on the nearly 40 years of human computer interaction research–including his own pioneering work–Dr. Steven Seow presents state-of-the-art best practices for reflecting users’ subjective perceptions of time in your applications and hardware.

Seow begins by introducing a simple model that explains how users perceive and expend time as they interact with technology. He offers specific guidance and recommendations related to several key aspects of time and timing–including user tolerance, system responsiveness, progress indicators, completion time estimates, and more. Finally, he brings together proven techniques for impacting users’ perception of time drawn from multiple disciplines and industries, ranging from psychology to retail, animal research to entertainment.

• Discover how time and timing powerfully impact user perception, emotions, and behavior

• Systematically make your applications more considerate of users’ time

• Avoid common mistakes that consistently frustrate or infuriate users

• Manage user perceptions and tolerance, and build systems that are perceived as faster

• Optimize “flow” to make users feel more productive, empowered, and creative

• Make reasonable and informed tradeoffs that maximize limited development resources

• Learn how to test usability issues related to time–including actual vs. perceived task duration

Designing and Engineering Time is for every technology developer, designer, engineer, architect, usability specialist, manager, and marketer. Using its insights and techniques, technical and non-technical professionals can work together to build systems and applications that provide far more value–and create much happier users.

Steven C. Seow has a unique combination of experience in both experimental psychology and software usability. He joined Microsoft as a User Researcher after completing his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology at Brown University with a research focus on human timing and information theory models of human performance. Seow holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and wrote his master’s thesis on distortions in time perception. For more information about Steven Seow and his research, visit his website at www.StevenSeow.com.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780321509185
Publisher:
Addison-Wesley
Publication date:
05/16/2008
Pages:
204
Product dimensions:
6.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .xii

Chapter 1 Designing and Engineering Time . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . 1

Chapter 2 Perception and Tolerance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Chapter 3 User and System Response Times . . . . ... . . . . . . 33

Chapter 4 Responsiveness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

Chapter 5 Detecting Timing Differences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65

Chapter 6 Progress Indication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79

Chapter 7 Expressing Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .97

Chapter 8 User Flow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115

Chapter 9 Testing Time . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .127

Chapter 10 Techniques . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .147

Chapter 11 Violations . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 171

Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .193

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Designing and Engineering Time: The Psychology of Time Perception in Software 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Seow presents an easy to read book about the importance of subjective time passage to a user of a computer program. The discussion includes the establishing of user-centric metrics, which are [or should be] decoupled from the technology. So naturally, the emphasis is on the user interface. When something is happening inside the program, that takes some time duration long enough to be detected by the user, then the UI might or should have some acknowledgment or feedback in visual form. To assuage the user's perception. The simplest case is of moving graphics, that at least indicates that the program is not frozen. The book explains how, if you can provide more substantive feedback, to do so. Like perhaps subsuming and not displaying deep technical details about what the program is doing, if this is irrelevant to your typical user. If the program can estimate reasonably accurately the percentage of progress to completion, then the UI should update this as the program churns along.