Saturday, September 29, 2007

Summary of Principles for User-Interface Design

Here is the main post.

1. The principle of user profiling -- Know who your user is.
2. The principle of metaphor -- Borrow behaviors from systems familiar to your users.
3. The principle of feature exposure -- Let the user see clearly what functions are available
4. The principle of coherence -- The behavior of the program should be internally and externally consistent
5. The principle of state visualization -- Changes in behavior should be reflected in the appearance of the program
6. The principle of shortcuts -- Provide both concrete and abstract ways of getting a task done
7. The principle of focus -- Some aspects of the UI attract attention more than others do
8. The principle of grammar -- A user interface is a kind of language -- know what the rules are
9. The principle of help -- Understand the different kinds of help a user needs

* 1. Goal-oriented: "What kinds of things can I do with this program?"
* 2. Descriptive: "What is this? What does this do?"
* 3. Procedural: "How do I do this?"
* 4. Interpretive: "Why did this happen?"
* 5. Navigational: "Where am I?"

10. The principle of safety -- Let the user develop confidence by providing a safety net
11. The principle of context -- Limit user activity to one well-defined context unless there's a good reason not to
12. The principle of aesthetics -- Create a program of beauty
13. The principle of user testing -- Recruit help in spotting the inevitable defects in your design
14. The principle of humility -- Listen to what ordinary people have to say

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