What makes a good user interface?
A good interface makes it easy for users to tell the
computer what they want to do, for the computer to request
information from the users, and for the computer to present
understandable information. Clear communication between the
user and the computer is the working premise of good UI
Good interfaces are:
A clear interface helps prevent user errors,
makes important information obvious, and contributes to ease
of learning and use.
A consistent interface allows users to
apply previously learned knowledge to new tasks. Effective
applications are both consistent within themselves and
consistent with one another.
The best interface designs are simple. Simple
designs are easy to learn and to use and give the interface
a consistent look. A good design requires a good balance
between maximizing functionality and maintaining simplicity
through progressive disclosure of information.
The user, not the computer, initiates
and controls all actions.
Users must see the visible cause-and-effect
relationship between the actions they take and the objects
on the screen. This allows users to feel that they are in
charge of the computer's activities.
Users make mistakes. User actions should
be reversible. A good interface facilitates exploration and
trial and error learning.
Keep the user informed and provide
immediate feedback. Also, ensure that feedback is
appropriate to the task.
Every visual element that appears on the
screen potentially competes for the user's attention.
Provide an environment that is pleasant to work in and
contributes to the user's understanding of the information
GUI design methodology
© 2003 Caldera International, Inc. All rights reserved.
SCO OpenServer Release 5.0.7 -- 11 February 2003