1/ 31/ 2014

What Makes A Great User Interface?

It’s important to first understand what makes a quality user interface.

Before we proceed to build a user interface for our product, it’s important to first understand what makes a good user interface; what are the qualities we should aim to achieve? All great interfaces share eight qualities or characteristics:

Clarity: The interface avoids ambiguity by making everything clear through language, flow, hierarchy and metaphors for visual elements. Clear interfaces don’t need manuals.

Concision: It’s easy to make the interface clear by over-clarifying and labeling everything, but this leads to interface bloat, where there is just too much stuff on the screen at the same time. If too many things are on the screen, finding what you’re looking for is difficult, and so the interface becomes tedious to use.

Familiarity: Something is familiar when you recall a previous encounter you’ve had with it. Even if someone uses an interface for the first time, certain elements can still be familiar.

Responsiveness:Keeping your interface consistent across your application is important because it allows users to recognize usage patterns. Once your users learn how certain parts of the interface work, they can apply this knowledge to new areas and features, provided that the user interface there is consistent with what they already know.

Consistency: The interface avoids ambiguity by making everything clear through language, flow, hierarchy and metaphors for visual elements. Clear interfaces don’t need manuals.

Aesthetics:While you don’t need to make an interface attractive for it to do its job, making something look good will make the time your users spend using your application more enjoyable; and happier users can only be a good thing.

Efficiency: Time is money, and a great interface should make the user more productive through shortcuts and good design. After all, this is one of the core benefits of technology: it allows us to perform tasks with less time and effort by doing most of the work for us.

Forgiveness: Everyone makes mistakes, and how your application handles those mistakes will be a test of its overall quality. Is it easy to undo actions? Is it easy to recover deleted files? A good interface should not punish users for their mistakes but should instead provide the means to remedy them.

Designing a user interface that incorporates all of these characteristics is tricky because working on one characteristic often affects others. The more interface elements you add, the more stuff your users will have to process. Creating something that is simple and elegant and at the same time clear and consistent is the difficult goal of a user interface designer.

1/31/2014

What Makes A Great User Interface?

It’s important to first understand what makes a quality user interface.

2/27/2014

Enterprise software begins its beautification:

Beautiful enterprise software is not the oxymoron it once seemed.

3/14/2014

Social Mosaic

Our new product Social Mosaic is our new event social engagement platform.

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