Spring Semester 2001
Tuesday, April 10, 2000 @ 9:30 AM
- The exam consists of nine questions on two numbered pages. Be sure that
all questions are legible.
- Read all questions and their instructions thoroughly before you begin.
It is always worth your time to plan ahead!
- You have been given four blank pages. Use these sheets for your exam
answers. Be sure to write your name on each sheet.
- All questions are of the same value. Use this information as you budget
your time across the exam period.
- Please keep the exam questions when you are done, and submit only your
- Points will be awarded based on your explicit answers. Partial credit
will be given where possible, so show all of your work.
- The exam lasts sixty minutes. It is due at 10:30 AM.
- Describe a software application that you think would be an unethical
application of computing. Why do you think that this application is
unethical? Under what circumstances would this application be ethical?
- Identify three situations in which a direct-manipulation interface is
potentially less effective than a text-based command interface.
Explain the dangers of using direct manipulation in each.
- We often talk about icons when discussing direct manipulation. Define
the term "icon", and identify at least two guidelines that software
designers should follow when making icons a central part of their
- Cypher's group divides end-user programming into four categories:
preferences, scripting languages, macro recorders, and programming by
demonstration. Briefly identify the value of each as a form of programming.
What is the fundamental problem that complicates the move from macro
recording to programming by demonstration?
- Briefly describe at least three practices of extreme programming that
distinguish it from more traditional software development methodologies.
- In Exercise 31, we considered the
possibility of transparent menus. Identify an open research question about
either the value of transparent menus or how to design them. Suggest an
experiment that we could run to help determine an answer to the question.
Predict the result of the experiment, based on your reading about menus
- Once the interface designer has decided on the order in which items will
will appear on the menu, she must decide how to phrase each item.
Identify two simple heuristics that she should use to phrase menu items.
- Give an example of an error message that satisfies at least three of
Shneiderman's characteristics of good error messages, and explain how the
message satisfies each. Give three different versions of the error message,
with each version missing just one of the characteristics.
- When discussing interfaces that ask the user to fill in a form,
Shneiderman discusses the idea of a coded field. What is a coded
field? Give an example. From the user's perspective, what are the
primary advantages and disadvantages of using coded fields?
Eugene Wallingford ====
April 9, 2001