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LANCASTER UNIVERSITY

1996 EXAMINATIONS

Part II (Final Year)
COMPUTER SCIENCE (2 hours)
363 Cognitive Modelling of HCI

Answer THREE Questions

1. (a) Briefly discuss what is meant by the term mode error.

Give examples of situations arising in real systems where one might expect mode errors to occur.

Give examples from real systems of facilities that reduce the possibility of mode errors. [12 marks]

(b) With respect to Macintosh systems:

(i) dragging a file icon onto the Wastebasket icon deletes the file. Dragging a disc icon onto the Wastebasket ejects the disc. Dragging an icon for a shared folder onto the Wastebasket disconnects the user from the shared folder

(ii) dragging a file icon between folders on the screen moves the file between the folders, unless one of the folders is on a floppy disc, in which case the file is copied between the folders.

For both cases, briefly discuss any inconsistencies between the commands, and discuss reasons why the designers may have allowed such inconsistencies to exist. [8 marks]

2 . Some studies in HCI have examined user interaction with devices or computer simulations of devices. Discuss what such studies can tell us about more conventional modes of interacting with computers, such as programming, for example. [20 marks]

3. Discuss the following statement:
?Despite recent developments in multimedia computing and
virtual reality, human-computer interaction continues to rely
predominantly on the user's visual channel of communication?
Then speculate on how future applications may make more use of users' non visual channels of communication. [20 marks]

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