Interface Design. The traditional method for creating content is by using the commands nested in menus and toolbars to gradually move towards a desired end-state. However, so-called result-oriented interfaces aim to facilitate the creative process through the aid of templates.
Interface Design. Was the mouse “intuitive” before you learned to use it? Probably not. So intuition alone shouldn’t drive UI. We toss around the term “intuitive” a lot when it comes to user interface. We think of Apple products, and the way they redefined PCs and smartphones through systems that “just worked.
Interface Design. The use of carousels in web design has become quite the controversial topic. Brad Frost takes it on very well in his post Carousels. He starts by explaining that in most cases, it’s not a good idea to use carousels, because of reasons like this:
From universities to giant retailers, large organizations endure their fair share of politics. And boy does that homepage look like a juicy piece of prime real estate to a roomful of stakeholders.
Interface Design. Nick Wingfield has a Windows 8 story in the New York times that provides a pretty good summary of everything we’ve heard on the tech blogs over the past few months. This passage from Fresh Windows, but Where’s the Start Button? stood out for me:
Many of the familiar signposts from PCs of yore are gone in Microsoft’s new software, Windows 8, like the Start button for getting to programs and the drop-down menus that list their functions.
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Interface Design. There’s something magical about the genre of Science Fiction: “science” is rigorous while “fiction” grants creative license. And yet, truth be told, today’s technology feels much the same: the iPad is heralded as magical – revolutionary, even – despite the fact that it’s clearly built with today’s technology.
Interface Design. With the introduction of Microsoft Surface—an upcoming series of tablets hoping to merge the touch and desktop experience into one device that will run Windows 8—the interest in Microsoft’s latest OS is on the rise. Microsoft is currently trying to recruit developers and designers to submit apps to their store for the upcoming OS release, so there’s certainly a buzz within the tech community about Windows 8.
Putting people first
Books. Make It So – Interaction design lessons from science fiction
By Nathan Shedroff & Christopher Noessel
ISBNs: paperback (1-933820-98-5); digital editions (1-933820-76-4)
Many designers enjoy the interfaces seen in science fiction films and television shows.
Interface Design. By now it’s almost inevitable given the company’s track record: No matter what Apple unveils tomorrow at the Yerba Buena Center (an iPad Mini? iPhone 5?), pundits will herald the company for its innovative thinking and bold hardware design. But the elephant in the room will be Apple’s software, which many inside the company believe has evolved for the worse in the last few years.
Getting our work done was an alphabet soup nightmare.
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Cases. Windows 8, expected to be released in October 2012, is the latest version of Microsoft’s flagship operating system. Its release also marks the first time that Microsoft has significantly evolved its design since 1995. Microsoft’s new, touch-oriented design language opens the door to designers, giving them a chance to reconsider their existing applications.
Interface Design. On Friday afternoon, a jury of nine delivered a swift verdict in the Apple-Samsung patent infringement case, ruling overwhelming in Apple’s favor. Samsung, they said, had copied Apple’s designs, infringed upon their patents, and would have to pay $1 billion for the trouble.
UIE Brain Sparks
Interface Design. You don’t have to hang around me for very long to hear me utter my mantra, “Good Design is Invisible. ” Good design, when done well, is invisible to users because it lets them focus on why they are using the product instead of how they are using it.
Thanks to the ongoing Apple / Samsung lawsuit, we can now see just how apparent this is.
Interface Design. Pinterest has skyrocketed to the number three position among all social networks in terms of traffic, and although the site is being compared to Facebook and Twitter, its user experience design is actually far superior to those larger networks in terms of its potential to drive social commerce.
Interface Design. Autistic children with limited verbal skills are often taught how to communicate and make choices using pictures. Drawing on her experience as a behavioral therapist in college, Adriana Herrera realized that key design principles from her work with Autistic children could also be applied to the website she founded, Fashioning Change.
Interface Design. 2012 will be the year “asymmetric gaming” entered the interaction design conversation.
Introduced by Nintendo this year, asymmetric gaming is poised to shake up video-game design forever. The concept is bound to resonate beyond the game industry, through consumer electronics and interaction design in general.
Interface Design. It is very rare indeed when designers eagerly anticipate a release from Microsoft. This October’s Windows 8 release will see a new Windows Phone, the second version of the Metro UI for mobile devices. But more significantly, Windows 8 will bring the Metro interface to the desktop.
Metro on mobile and on desktop.
Putting people first
Interface Design. Windows 8 and the art of UX compromise
by Ryan Bell, user interface software team lead at EffectiveUI
Microsoft is cleverly promoting Windows 8 with the tagline “no compromises. ” The idea is that you get both a desktop/laptop operating system (OS) and a tablet OS in one package and a “best of both worlds” experience on any device.
UIE Brain Sparks
Interface Design. [ Transcript Available ]
Reputation is everything. On sites where users can rate and review products or services, the result is, well, reputation. But a problem can arise when ratings aren’t accompanied by a qualifying review. A user could have had a negative experience with service or shipping but the product itself could be stellar.
Interface Design. A comment on Reddit (by raygundan) points out an interesting technique Apple uses on their iOS platform: when you switch apps, the device saves a screenshot of what the last screen looks like for that app so that when you switch back again, that saved screenshot is the first thing you see. This is done to buy time for the app to fully load. Instead of showing you a blank screen or a loading screen, the device shows you a screenshot of the app.
In today’s age of instant gratification, making users wait too long for your application to load is a user experience issue. If users get the feeling that your application loads too slow, they’ll grow impatient, and spend their time elsewhere. While there are technical things you can do to speed up load times, some feature-rich applications have no choice but to make users wait a while in order for the application to work properly.
Interface Design. Jeff Atwood starts his article This Is All Your App Is: a Collection of Tiny Details as a post about cat feeders, but stick with it. It’s gold:
Getting the details right is the difference between something that delights, and something customers tolerate.
Your software, your product, is nothing more than a collection of tiny details.
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Interface Design. Dropbox is about sharing files with others. Pintrest: posting images on a virtual board. Facebook is about connecting with friends and Twitter is about micro-blogging. Each site champions a single conceptual model to help users quickly evaluate its relevance to their personal goals.
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Interface Design. A dashboard is often the first screen that a user sees in your UI. The importance of visual design and data visualizations is high. But good looks aside, the dashboard has to meet the users’ needs. Beautiful dashboards are futile if the presented information isn't useful to the user to accomplish their tasks.
Interface Design. "I’ve been at the company … since 2006," says Sam Moreau, who oversees design and user experience for Windows. "Internally, that’s code for: Vista isn’t my fault. "
It’s the ultimate design challenge. You’ve got 25 years of Windows before you.
Interface Design. Apps often need to pop up something over the main UI; common examples would be menus and dialogs. Unfortunately, while apps need popups, documents don’t, and until recently HTML was relentlessly document-focused. It’s frustratingly difficult to do a popup well in a contemporary web app, and so it’s not surprising to see so many apps do them poorly or inconsistently.
Justin Davis of Madera Labs
Justin Davis of Madera Labs is a great speaker and a lot of fun to talk with. I met Justin in 2010 in Lisbon Portugal, where we were both speaking at the UXLX conference. I invited him to speak on a panel with me at the HCI conference in 2011. I think we talked non-stop for 5 hours one day at the conference.
Interface Design. With the experience of having built ABCKit and many hours of testing different apps for kids behind us, we have noticed some recurring app design problems. For those working in this field, we would like to share some suggestions for designing and devising apps for children to help ensure the apps are correctly used by preventing some common design issues.
Interface Design. There’s an old maxim of user interface design about ensuring that products are useful, usable, and desirable. Does the design solve a problem? Can people make it solve their problems? Do people want it to solve their problems? But even if the answers to these questions are all “yes,” now what? “Usable” and “satisfied” are pretty low bars. It’s like saying your design is “adequate,” “fine,” or “average.
UIE Brain Sparks
Interface Design. It’s easy for applications to get overcomplicated and bogged down with data - especially in an enterprise setting. It’s hard to keep track of so many different things. When dashboards and widgets are employed, the goal is to make your life easier, but often that’s not the result. The solution - simplifying these applications for specific use cases and giving the right people the right information they need for their given task.