Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Reviewing User Interfaces

UI reviews ...

"Has your boss or a client ever asked you to review a user interface for a Web or desktop application? Perhaps the request went something like this: Can you just look over these new screens for us? Oh, and can you check the error messages, too? It won’t take long! And, by the way, we ship next month. Whether you are an interaction designer, usability professional, technical communicator, quality assurance engineer, or developer, reviewing a user interface typically means identifying

* usability problems related to
o the layout, logical flow, and structure of the interface
o inconsistencies in the design
* non-compliance with standards
* ambiguous wording in labels, dialog boxes, error messages, and onscreen user assistance
* functional errors

While user interface (UI) reviews often occur at the end of the development cycle, I recommend that you get involved early in the process, preferably when the designers create the initial wireframes or paper prototypes. Why? Making changes early in the process reduces development costs. Plus, if you identify usability issues early, it’s much more likely the team can remedy them before launch, preventing bad reviews like that shown in Figure 1, negative word-of-mouth, and the lost sales that result from them.

Before reviewing an application’s user interface, make sure you know who the users will be, have clear goals in mind, and remember, it’s all about improving the user experience."    (Continued via uxmatters, Rhonda Bracey)    [Usability Resources]

Bad Review - Usability, User Interface Design

Bad Review


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