Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Judging Criteria of Step 7 Lite

Supports performers through best practices
The system uses rule-based feedback, dynamic presented in place within an easily interpreted visual context to eliminate or reduce many kinds of errors, thus preventing relatively inexperienced or unskilled beginners from using it incorrectly but allowing flexible performance by more experienced and advanced users. Support is provided for differing working styles widely and programming approaches, allowing conformance to various company, national, and individual standards of practice and performance.

Establishes or aids in establishing goals
A variety of techniques, cascading tool-tips, embedded prompts, dynamic feedback on affordances and constraints, stored rules, representational display, visual navigation scheme, clearly communicate to the user what can and cannot be done at any point in the process.

Minimizes terminology translation or interpretation
The load of user’s cognitive is minimized by matching the actual working context with appropriate graphical representation of real-world equipment features without falling into the trap of excess literalism or misleading metaphors. Casual errors, such as improperly inserting a module or accidentally selecting the wrong module to examine, are reduced or eliminated through strong visual feedback in context. Users are not forced into unnatural work patterns by rigid step-by-step operation nor are they taken out their mental working model by intrusive message dialogs. The established terminology and jargon of the PLC programming field and user community is used throughout along with explanatory tips and prompts wherever appropriate.

Provides access to supporting and learning resources
Tutorial and explanatory material is provided in context and in place through a variety of novel visual feedback techniques. Embedded prompts provide tips and hints where needed within visual elements of the user interface. Cascading tool tips give users access to successive levels of explanation and detail along with contextual links into the full help system. Error conditions are communicated through highlighting in place, animated roll-down messages and/or with further explanation available through tool tips that provide information to the user as needed without unduly interrupting either the visual context or the user’s mental processes.

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