User Interface Design
- User interface design creates an effective communication medium between a human and a computer.
- Following a set of interface design principles, design identifies interface objects and actions and then creates a screen layout that forms the basis for a user interface prototype.
Design Rules for User Interface
Place the User in Control
- During a requirements-gathering session for a major new information system, a key user was asked about Following are the design principles that allow the user to maintain control:
- Define interaction modes in a way that does not force a user into unnecessary or undesired actions.
- An interaction model is the current state of the interface. For example, if spell check is selected in a word-processor menu, the software moves to a spell-checking mode. There is no reason to force the user to remain in spell-checking mode if the user desires to make a small text edit along the way.
- Provide for flexible interaction.
- Because different users have different interaction preferences, choices should be provided. For example, software might allow a user to interact via keyboard commands, mouse movement, a digitizer pen, a multi-touch screen, or voice recognition commands.
- Allow user interaction to be interruptible and undoable.
- Even when involved in a sequence of actions. The user should be able to interrupt the sequence to do something else.
- Streamline interaction as skill levels advance and allow the interaction to customized.
- Users often find that they perform the same sequence of interactions repeatedly.
- Hide technical internals from the casual user.
- The user interface should move the user into the virtual world of the application. The user should not be aware of the operating system, file management functions, or other arcane computing technology.
- Design for direct interaction with objects that appear on the screen.
- The user feels a sense of control when able to manipulate the objects that are necessary to perform a task in a manner similar to what would occur if the object were a physical thing.