Sunday, November 12, 2006

User Interface Design - Taking the Good with the Bad

The compromises of user interface design ...

"The key to any successful marriage is compromise. While things may not always go the way you want them to, in the end, coming to an agreement helps you to achieve a greater good. The same holds true for user interface (UI) design. After all, what else is the user interface if not a marriage of form and function?

Designing the UI is fundamentally an exercise in compromise—not compromise between designers and other project stakeholders (usability should never be sacrificed as a result of office politics)—but compromise between the drawbacks and benefits of design decisions. Every UI decision, from a pixel’s precise placement to the entire site’s information architecture, should be made judiciously. Careful consideration of the benefits each design decision affords and costs its users is essential. It’s the sometimes-subtle expense that many people often overlook, and every UI decision does have expense. Educated compromise across all UI decisions is essential to creating the best interface possible, and is, ironically, required if you are to avoid designing a compromised interface.

You can’t have your cake and eat it too
n creating the UI, you must cope with two primary interrelated limitations: the finite amount of information that can be conveyed via a single screen, and the finite amount of information that a user can process at one time. Show too much information on a single screen and users have to wade through the ensuing clutter; show too little and users have to guess their way to their destinations. A good design uses the screen real estate effectively to leverage the user’s understanding to effectively communicate between application and user.

Your canvas, the monitor screen, is constrained—X pixels wide by Y pixels high. As such, it’s important to conserve resources; every pixel you use comes at a price. Keeping information density balanced is a challenge when you’re trying to create a UI that communicates efficiently. Every design decision has an expense because each additional piece of information on the screen increases the information density, competes for the user’s limited attention and cognitive processing, and makes recognition more difficult."    (Continued via uiGarden)    [Usability Resources]


Blogger regimages said...

More ui design resources

12:13 AM  

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