a) Briefly explain why the Java virtual machine concept cannot easily be extended to increase the portability of human computer interfaces.
b) Platform independent toolkits, such as Swingset, increase some forms of interface consistency but reduce other forms of consistency. Explain this apparent contradiction.
c) You have been asked to design the web pages of a major consumer electrical manufacturer. Briefly explain how you would ensure that all of these pages provide the same corporate look and feel both today and in the future.
a) Why is it important that event handlers execute as quickly as possible in asynchronous, human computer interfaces?
b) Briefly explain how low level input events are propagated from input devices through the operating system and a user interface toolkit to an application program. Illustrate your example by referring to the Java Abstract Window Toolkit (version 1.0 or 1.1).
c) You have been asked to design the user interface to a web based, seat booking system for a major international airline. Travel agents have considerable expertise in the existing application because they use it many times each day. Members of the general public may also access the new site. Briefly explain how the presence of novice and expert users will increase the complexity of your event handlers.
a) Electronic gridlock occurs when users have to spend large amounts of time retrieving information from heavily loaded sites. Briefly explain how this combines with the unreliable nature of current communications networks to create usability problems for many users.
b) Information saturation occurs when users have to spend large amounts of time browsing through a mass of potentially relevant data. Briefly explain how this combines with the unreliable nature of current communications networks to create usability problems for many users.
c) You have been asked to develop the user interface to a system that provides information about the stock that is currently held in over 900 record shops. The system responds to any user request by dynamically requesting information from each of the shops in the network. The user can list all of the items held in a shop. They can also search for particular recordings made by particular performers. The intention is that customers might also use the system and it is difficult to predict what queries they might issue. Briefly explain how you might go about reducing the problems of information saturation and electronic gridlock for this interface.
The current pricing structures for telecommunications services is the major impediment to the growth of mass-market computing in the UK. Discuss.
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