Tips and articles on software user interface design, including handheld, speech recognition, desktop, and web-based software, with a focus on the software development process and issues in internationalization. The site also describes services offered and my approach to user interface design.
Advanced search is the ugly child of interface design--always included, but never loved. Websites have come to depend on their search engines as the volume of content has increased. Yet advanced search functionality has not significantly developed in years. Poor matches and overwhelming search results remain a problem for users. Perhaps the standard search pattern deserves a new look. A progressive disclosure approach can enable users to use precision advanced search techniques to refine their searches and pinpoint the desired results.
In a world where everything is designed to amaze and distract, it's awfully difficult to get a user's attention. Learn how to use new techniques such as lightboxes, pop-ups, windows, and fading messages with your Ajax tools to get your users' eyes on your content.
Using patterns has become a well-known design practice and is also considered best practice in the software development community. While UX teams can and should constantly promote best practice, we can also approach tackling poor design practice from the other side: antipatterns. Antipatterns are approaches to common problems that might appear obvious, but are less than optimal in practice.
For programmers, a programming language is a software tool. Its interface consists of its lexicon, grammar and semantic rules. From this view, using a language to do programming is actually using that tool to accomplish something. As we will see shortly, different languages vary greatly in the degree of how they get close to programmer's conceptual model.
For backgrounds behind text, use solid, contrasting colors, and avoid the use of textures and patterns, which can make letterforms difficult to distinguish or even illegible. Choose combinations of text color and background color with care. Value contrast between body text and its background color should be a minimum of about eighty percent.
This site offers a unique approach to contextual navigation, and one that has gotten the attention of many reviewers. From the site: 'ArtandCulture.com is a dynamic destination that delivers unique access to the best arts and cultural content and related products available on the web today....focused on creating the context that makes information truly meaningful.' In this review, I'll focus on some of the interesting navigation strategies the site presents.
I’d personally love a computer experience which emphasized ‘flow’ and gradual, constant change. No longer would every little change pull your attention away from an important task. Instead, those Mail notifications, system messages and the like could gently change without you noticing, until you decided you wanted to actually look.
Being "minimalist" and "streamlined" is not always most effective. Have you ever written yourself a quick, shorthand note, only to find later that you had no way to unpack your own great idea? Icons work similarly. They are pictures – meant to provide a visual shorthand to users moving through a task. While research indicates that icons are best when initially paired with text to increase recognition and learnability, users experienced with a given set of icons will begin to ignore the text, scanning for and acting from the image alone.
Until recently, emotion was an ill-explored part of human psychology. Some people thought it an evolutionary left-over from our animal origins. Most thought of emotions as a problem to be overcome by rational, logical thinking. And most of the research focused upon negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, and anger. Modern work has completely reversed this view.
As creators of digital user experiences, we must transform complex workflows and tasks into useful applications. Experts have written much about the UX design process as it applies to broad audiences, industry-specific vertical markets, and large corporate user groups. However, as our evolving information economy continues to encourage greater and greater specialization of job roles, there is an increased need for customized applications--digital systems that only a select few people will ever use.
Las barras de mosaico (TileBars) son una técnica de visualización de búsquedas en documentos que permiten hacerse una idea más clara de lo que nos devuelve un buscador, añadiendo la serendipia (descubrimiento accidental) al concepto de relevancia.
The icons or baby faces used as part of user interface have now turned into a major aspect of product branding. With powerful computers, enhanced graphics capabilities, advanced tools for illustration, and professionals to advocate rich user experience, icon design has become more important and complex than ever before! Windows Vista has raised the standard of quality icons even higher. An interface design project forced me to think about ’style’ in icon design. It raised some basic questions in my mind.
It is difficult to apply the lessons learned from e-commerce search interfaces to more complex ones, such as those for libraries or technical material. This article provides a guide to tailoring search interfaces to users with a persona-based approach.
A look at how branding differs between traditional applications, like printed corporate collateral, and emerging new media applications, such as software user interfaces, with a focus on behavior and color.
A launchpad is a graphical user interface used for tasks that have too many steps or are too complex to fit into a single wizard. The launchpad acts as a central access point for launching a series of related wizards or dialogs, each of which completes one step of the overall task. Our launchpad design further aids novice users by providing a graphical and interactive preview of the steps required to complete the overall task, such as installing or configuring a component. This paper focuses on the process used to create the IBM Launchpad. The paper briefly describes the final design of the launchpad and concludes with process recommendations based on our experiences.
A measurably easy-to-use interface has been built using a novel technique. Novices attempted an electronic mail task using a command-line interface containing no help, no menus, no documentation, and no instruction. A hidden operator intercepted commands when necessary, creating the illusion of a true interactive session. The software was repeatedly revised to recognize users' new commands; in essence, the users defined the interface. This procedure was used on 67 subjects. The first version of the software could recognize only 7% of all the subjects' spontaneously generated commands; the final version could recognize 76% of those commands. This experience contradicts the idea that people are not good at designing their own command languages. Through careful observation and analysis of user behavior, a mail interface unusable by novices evolved into one that let novices do useful work within minutes.
With Ajax still one of the industry's hottest buzzwords, more and more applications are being built with Ajax technologies. However, it's not always easy to build a good application. This article focuses on how to build intuitive, easy-to-use Ajax-driven applications.