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Secret ingredients to quality software

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Do you realize that a good interface should not require instructions?

Created on 27 Nov 2012 | Last updated by Barry Sanders on 15 Nov 2017 05:21 AM (over 3 years ago)

The corner stone of good user interface design is that if your users need instructions, you haven't done a good job. Of course with particularly complex applications there will be exceptions to this rule, but all developers should aim to make your interface as self-evident as possible.

  • There are no surprises
  • There is no need to use help
  • No excuse for RTFM (read the freaking manual)

Figure: A good interface does not need instructions!

A good UI is:

  • Intuitive
  • Feels fast e.g. no white screen, threading code
  • Consistent
  • Minimal popups
  • No clutter - not busy
  • Good error handling
  • Easy to customize + apps (aka a platform)
  • Gamification e.g. badges

    ** **

Suggested reading:

GoodUITeamViewer
Figure: Good example - Teamviewer's interface requires very little explanation

FlyInUrinal
Figure: Good Example - See the fly? (an example of excellent usability) Dutch manufacturers realized that a fly painted on the urinal became a "target" for men using the facility. And the fly is positioned in precisely the right place for minimal spillage or splash back. Clever people those Dutch!


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