A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

User Interface

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UI Patterns and Techniques

A collection of user interface elements, widgets, techniques, and patterns. Includes example screen shots of each technique, as well as descriptions of why you would use the technique, and when it is appropriate.

Tidwell, Jenifer. Time-Tripper (1997). Resources>User Interface



uiGarden is a bilingual on-line magazine that provides an opportunity for researchers and practitioners who work in the user interface design (including user experience, information architecture, GUI, and usability) field in the Chinese and the English speaking worlds to publish their thinking and exchange views with each other.

uiGarden. Journals>User Interface>User Centered Design


UIML: An Appliance-Independent XML User Interface Language

Today’s Internet appliances feature user interface technologies almost unknown a few years ago: touch screens, styli, handwriting and voice recognition, speech synthesis, tiny screens, and more. This richness creates problems. First, different appliances use different languages: WML for cell phones; SpeechML, JSML, and VoxML for voice enabled devices such as phones; HTML and XUL for desktop computers, and so on. Thus, developers must maintain multiple source code families to deploy interfaces to one information system on multiple appliances.

Abrams, Marc, Constantinos Phanouriou, Alan L. Batongbacal, Stephen M. Williams and Jonathan E. Shuster. International WWW Conference, The (1999). Design>User Interface>Usability



Community with articles and discussions about user experience design with a focus on We-based user interface design.

UIzine (2007). Resources>User Interface>User Experience>Blogs


The Unified Modeling Language   (PDF)

Chu defines Unified Modeling Language (UML) as a standardized system of diagrams, notations, and semantics for object-oriented design and modeling. He offers a basic introduction to UML, provides a conceptual model, and describes UML's building blocks and common mechanisms. The article includes a brief history of UML.

Chu, Steve W. Intercom (2000). Design>User Interface>XML>UML


The UNIX GUI Manifesto

GUI fragmentation is the greatest competitive weakness of UNIX. There is no standard Unix File Manager or Text Editor or Help -- that's shocking, in this age! Every Windows or Mac machine has a standard file manager and text editor and help system. The casual end user can accomplish elementary end-user tasks without encountering anything different from machine to machine.

Hoffman, Michael. Hypertext Navigation. Design>User Interface>Operating Systems>UNIX


Usability and Taking Chances

A blog post that discusses the XO laptop, and the risks that the designers and developers took when creating the user interface for the device - for the most part they succeeded in creating an intuitive interface and a usable computer.

DMN Communications (2008). Articles>Usability>User Interface>Linux


Usability Evaluation of High-Level User Assistance for Robot Mission Specification   (PDF)

MissionLab is a mission specification system that implements a hybrid deliberative and reactive control architecture for autonomous mobile robots. The user creates and executes the robot mission plans through its graphical user interface. As robot deployments become more common in highly stressful situations, such as in dealing with explosives or biohazards, the usability of their mission specification system becomes critical. To address this need, a mission-planning “wizard” has been recently integrated into MissionLab. By retrieving and adapting past successful mission plans stored in its database, this new feature is designed to simplify the user’s planning process. The latest formal usability experiments, reported in this paper, testing for usability improvements in terms of speed of the mission planning process, accuracy of the produced mission plans, and ease of use is conducted. This paper introduces the mission-planning wizard, describes the usability experiments (including design), and discusses the results in detail.

Endo, Yoichiro, Douglas C. MacKenzie and Ronald C. Arkin. Georgia Institute of Technology (2002). Articles>User Interface>Usability


A Usability Evaluation of Web Map Zoom and Pan Functions   (peer-reviewed)

Due to limitations on screen size and resolution, the usability of web maps relies heavily on their interface design. The main goal of this research is to find better interface designs for web maps and to facilitate their usage by the public. The research consists of two stages of investigation: (a) a survey on the operation interfaces of popular web maps; and (b) a usability evaluation of simulated interfaces by measuring task performance and conducting subjective evaluations.

You, Manlai, Chun-wen Chen, Hantsai Liu and Hsuan Lin. International Journal of Design (2007). Articles>Web Design>User Interface>Usability


Usability First

This website provides information and resources for key issues related to usability in website and software design. We believe that helping people do their work in an effective and enjoyable way should be the top priority in design because if a product is not usable, people will not use it.

Diamond Bullet Design (1996). Resources>User Interface>Usability>Web Design


Usability in Practice: The Human Face Of Software

Welcome to Usability In Practice. This is the first in a series of columns that will focus on the design of the user experience (UX). In the past, user experience was not a high priority for most development projects, but that's changed. Today, end users have a lot of experience with the Web and with software. They want design that's easy to learn and use and that fits their workflow. This column will show you how to deliver such designs.

Kreitzberg, Charles B. and Ambrose Little. Microsoft (2008). Articles>Usability>User Interface>User Experience


Usability of My Digital Camera

The useful features of digital cameras are not enticing enough to trade for the simplicity of the non-digital design that meets the fundamental goals of the majority of users. As for me, I have learned my lesson with digital cameras. I will keep my user-friendly, old fashion, but reliable non-digital camera.

Dick, David J. Usability Interface (2003). Articles>User Interface>Photography>Usability


The Usability of the Palm Vx

I recently purchased an 'old' Palm Vx of off eBay.com. Let me tell you, I couldn't be happier with it, except maybe if it had a color screen and the resolution were a little bit higher. It has a couple usability flaws from the original Palm V model, but nothing that dramatically decreases the user experience.

Rhodes, Matt. WebWord (2003). Articles>Usability>User Interface>PDA


Usability Tips for Your Application (Part I)

There are a exponentially growing amount of applications being developed. Some of them vanish at an early stage, while others grow to be quite (and sometimes extremely) popular. What really dazzles me is how sucky many of them (both the popular and the unpopular ones) are regarding how they deal with user-interaction.

Odden, Michael. Unlimited Edition (2009). Articles>Usability>User Interface>Interaction Design


Usable Interface Design

As an information designer the interfaces we currently work on - no matter whether Apple or Windows, bother me. Yes, OS X looks a lot better than its predecessors, and Windows' upcoming rip off of OS X looks better than the previous rip off. But however pretty, glossy and lickable those Interfaces may look, no matter how many twist and turn effects they build in - the problem they have is not one of special effects. If a good interface were a matter of special effects, George Lucas' Industrial Light and Magic might do a very good job.

Information Architects Japan (2006). Design>User Interface>Usability


User Assistance For Applications

No matter how well you design your User Interface, there will be times when your user would need assistance. User Assistance Model forms an integral part of Information Architecture for any application. The assistance includes print documentation, embedded help and online help.

Rajesh, Jha. SlideShare (2007). Presentations>Documentation>User Interface>Help


User Empowerment and the Fun Factor

Designs that engage and empower users increase their enjoyment and encourage them to explore websites in-depth. Once we achieve ease of use, we'll need additional usability methods to further strengthen joy of use.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2002). Design>User Interface>Usability


User Interface

A hypertext encyclopedia entry about user interface design, with links to many related topics.

Wikipedia. Reference>Encyclopedias>User Interface


User Interface Design

While product engineers focus on the technology, usability specialists focus on the user interface. For greatest efficiency and cost effectiveness, this working relationship should be maintained from the start of a project to its rollout.

Usernomics. Resources>User Interface


User Interface Design Bibliography

Chauncey Wilson of BMC Software, Inc. has compiled this excellent list of resources. We are grateful to him for allowing us to post it here. To contact Chauncey directly, send e-mail to chaunsee@aol.com. This bibliography was last updated in December 1998.

Wilson, Chauncey E. User Interface Engineering (1998). Resources>Bibliographies>User Interface


User Interface Design Newsletter

Monthly articles on the latest usability research and its practical implications for user interface design.

Human Factors International (2007). Journals>User Interface>User Experience>User Centered Design


User Interface Design: An International Approach

A well-thought-out design and well-written content reduces the time required for good international products and saves money. As a bonus, most internationalization issues apply across all languages and usually help improve the quality of the American-language product as well.

Swain, Cindy. Boston Broadside (1997). Design>User Interface>Translation>Localization


User Interface Design: Some Guiding Principles

User interfaces vary significantly from library to library, and even within a library, from library holdings to CD-ROM databases to web resources. Why such variation?

Tennant, Roy. Library Journal (1999). Design>User Interface>Information Design


The User Interface Domain

The User Interface Domain seeks to improve all user/computer communications on the Web. In particular, the Domain is working on formats and languages that will present information to users with more accuracy and a higher level of control.

W3C (2001). Design>User Interface


User Interface Issues (part of Globalization and Localization Issues)

Loads of tips on how to design world ready user interface. It addresses issues that might occur in messages, menus and dialog boxes, icons and bitmaps, access and shortcut keys as well as user interface controls.

Microsoft (2004). Articles>User Interface>Localization



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