A Family of User Interface Consistency Checking Tools: Design and Development of SHERLOCK

TitleA Family of User Interface Consistency Checking Tools: Design and Development of SHERLOCK
Publication TypeJournal Articles
Year of Publication1995
AuthorsMahajan R, Shneiderman B
JournalProceedings of the Twentieth Annual Software Engineering Workshop
IssueNASA no. 19990027806
Date Published1995///

Incorporating evaluation metrics with GUI development tools will help designers create consistent interfaces in the future. Complexity in design of interfaces makes efficient evaluation infeasible by a single consistency checking evaluation tool. Our focus is on developing a family of consistency checking tools to evaluate spatial layout and terminology in user interfaces and make the evaluation process less cumbersome. We have Created a dialog box summary table to provide a compact overview of spatial and visual properties of dozens or hundreds of dialog boxes of the interface. Interface concordance tool has been developed to spot variant capitalization and abbreviations in interface terminology. As buttons are most frequent used widgets, a button concordance tool and a button layout table has been constructed. Button concordance identifies variant capitalization, distinct typefaces, distinct background colors and variant sizes in buttons. Button layout table spots any inconsistencies in height, width and relative position between a given group of buttons. A spell checking tools which detects spelling errors in interface terms has also been included in the tool set. Finally, a terminology basket tool has been created to identify unwanted synonyms of computer related terms used in the interface. These tools are integrated together as SHERLOCK, a family of six consistency checking tools to expedite the evaluation process and provide feedback to the designers plus aid Usability Testing.