|Type of paper:||Critical thinking|
|Categories:||Computer science Software Personal experience Customer service|
Quality of the user experience is essential to the success of a software product/application. During the early stages of the introduction of computers, users occasionally experienced long periods of delays because the technology by that time was weak, and networks experienced relatively slow throughput. Modern computing systems have curbed these delays because of the extended network as well as computing power though users still report an increased level of frustration. Despite the effort put in by designers, user-computer interactions still agitate frustrations among the users. In most cases, a frustrating interaction with a computer system can leave a user feeling disposed toward the system and its developers. Numerous solutions have been offered to manage the user frustrations, and this has been achieved through identification, determination, and correction of the problem that is causing the frustration and also trying to prevent the problem from happening again in the future.
Computers have significantly impacted on people's lives because they have provided numerous benefits to their users. Despite the computer being an essential component of people's lives, computer users still experience frustration. In cases where a computer crashes, the user gets to lose their work. More often than not, users experience a rough time trying to understand error messages, and the time spent by users to remove spam and viruses are becoming a constant struggle of modern technologies. Software developers need to take effective action to understand and carry out the research necessary for establishing procedures aimed to eliminate the struggles that result in user frustration. Developers need to realize the causes of frustration among users.
Based off of experience, the first most common reason that users are still frustrated with modern applications is the presence of errors in the software. It is normal behavior for users to get frustrated by errors. The moment users realize that the program is not responding, even when it is the user's fault, a weakness in the design of the software or the execution of a bug, users end up frustrated. Also, viruses, spam mail, and pop-up ads are termed as errors among the computer users because they make users perceive a problem that inhibits an application from outputting the preferred results, and users are unable to achieve their performance goals.
The other reason as to why users are still frustrated with modern applications is the time delays. Users always expect the application to respond very fast. Typically, users' past experiences determine the appropriate response time. Beginners are most likely to wait longer than expert users for a computer to respond. Time delays are brought about by numerous factors and components and are never predictable. It should be noted that time delays terminate users' focus, thus rendering web content uninteresting.
Emotional reactions can be referred to as mood disturbances, and physical discomfort, which are increased with the amount that users spent performing data entry tasks during the day. In this view, complex systems, as well as poorly designed user-interfaces, contribute to the negative emotional responses which often result in frustration, confusion, and failure (Irina, Jonathan, Katie, John, & Shneiderman, 2004).
Developers can minimize Error-related frustrations by creating applications that present more precise instructions to the users. It is upon developers to design software that will give the users a sense of being in control of an occurrence or activity. Users have to be granted the capability to fix errors as it will instill confidence that the performed actions will alter the results in a way they desire.
Frustration arising from time delays can be curbed by creating software that offers consistency. Besides, time delays can be condensed by providing signals or pop-ups, indicating how long the user has to wait before a task is completed and results produced. Most of the modern applications such as web browsers have taken up the task to provide information about response time. Even though it is not always to eliminate the factors that cause time delays, but it is beneficial to take the necessary measures that prevent time delays when users are performing tasks in the computing system (Daniel, 2012). At last, emotional reactions can be reduced by designing more reliable software, superior user interfaces, and the improvement in training (Irina, Jonathan, Katie, John, Shneiderman, 2004).
Poorly designed human-computer interfaces are usually the most common cause of user frustration. As such, there is deterioration in the users' productivity, the mood at interactions with co-workers. One suitable method that can be employed to determine if user frustration is caused by poor system design or from natural frustration associated with learning new software, is by asking users to record their frustrations regarding human-computer interfaces while using the application for their personal use as opposed to when they are using the app to perform assigned tasks.
A second method would be to conduct research or survey on the user frustrations within a workplace. Such research would accurately enable developers to identify and note the disparity in the levels of frustrations among students as well as professional users. Also, the examination would help to define the level of frustrations experienced when users are expected to execute a task using computers. Research has been conducted to critically examine and measure the levels of frustration among young users, old users, as well as users with physical disabilities. The study reveals that these three groups react differently in the event of errors, response time, and other factors which cause users to become frustrated. Universal usability has been the ultimate goal of all modern developers, and therefore research has been conducted on all kinds of user; the main target of the study is to understand, prevent, and provide proper measures that will accommodate the different types of users globally (Irina, Jonathan, Katie, John, & Shneiderman, 2003).
Research uncovers that there are about 650 million people, 10% of the world's population, living with some aspect of human disabilities. A disability can be physical, sensory, or cognitive impairment, and these would inhibit users' capacities during their usual undertakings. The digital era forced developers to act accordingly and have, in turn, advanced the level of technology significantly to cater for the disabled community. Such improvements enhance the quality of life for the disabled and therefore reducing the frustrations they encounter when using a modern application. One of the methods proposed to curb frustration among the disabled community is by developing assistive technology, which is designed to improve the functional capabilities of a disabled person. A good example is the introduction of speech security measures other than relying on fingerprint alone; this has enabled the hand-less people to protect their data by employing speech recognition options as a security measure.
The other suggestion for reducing frustration among the disabled community is the integration of adaptive technology that provides a mechanism which allows disabled users to use technology that they previously were unable to use. To cater for the disabled community, accessible technology must be created to offer extensive applications and also eliminating barriers which have prevented disabled people from accessing the world. Accessibility is fundamental when it comes to the design process of human-computer interfaces, and developers are expected to continue integrating accessibility, assistive, and adaptive technology in the design of modern applications and even for other products incorporating technology in them (Robert, Atkinson, & Daniel, n.d).
In conclusion, users are seen to experience frustration when encountering errors, time delays, and incompleteness in the usage of computers. Poorly designed interfaces are mainly associated with user frustration. It is upon developers to come up with more reliable software, efficient user interfaces, and to advance training. Nevertheless, developers must integrate technology that will offer accessibility to the disabled community as well as to achieve universal usability during the design process of their modern applications and other products.
Daniel, H. (2012). Design: The Art of Reducing Frustration. Flying machine Studios. Retrieved from http://www.flyingmachinestudios.com/design/anatomy-of-frustration/.
Irina, C., Jonathan, L., Katie, B., John, R., Ben, S. (2003). Determining Causes and Severity of End-User Frustration. Conclusion and Future Work. Retrieved from http://hcil2.cs.umd.edu/trs/2002-11/2002-11.html.
Irina, C., Jonathan, L., Katie, B., John, R., Ben, S. (2004). Determining Causes and Severity of End-User Frustration. International Journal of Human-computer Interaction. Retrieved from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/7eff/871ce258420be2cdcaadf2f2aecf5df4330a.pdf.
Robert, D., Atkinson, & Daniel D. Castro. (n.d). Accessibility for People with Disabilities. Digital Quality of Life. Retrieved from http://www.itif.org/files/DQOL-7.pdf.
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