Make the most important button look like it’s the most important one.
Put buttons in a sensible order.
Label buttons with what they do.
If users don’t want to do something, don’t have a button for it.
Make it harder to find destructive buttons.
Nothing particularly revolutionary there, right? Ever since the <button> tag arrived in HTML4, buttons haven’t been especially difficult to create. Despite this, it’s rather easy to find buttons that don’t comply with these basic best practices, so I’m going to dig into them a little deeper in this column. Read More
Do a Web search for UX best practices, and you’ll find well-written articles and blog posts about designing Web sites and mobile applications. They’ll be chock full of helpful examples and screenshots depicting ecommerce Web sites, social-media applications, and slick interaction paradigms. But you’ll be hard pressed to find any examples from industrial automation—especially near the top of the search results—because industrial-automation software is not consumer facing and sits well outside the consciousness of modern software users and designers alike. Those who are familiar with industrial-automation software commonly view this as a domain of control systems, processes, computers, and machines—things that aren’t human.
But industrial-automation software is more human facing than you might think. Think about the sheets you slept on last night. The soap you used in the shower this morning. The car you drove to work. The beer you plan to nurse on the front porch tonight. The diaper you’ll wrestle onto your toddler before putting her to bed. The roller coaster that will make you scream at the top of your lungs this weekend. People design the software that runs the machines and processes that mass produce these human-facing products for people. People are still a big part of the processes for manufacturing these goods. Read More
Alerts indicate hazards in products’ hardware or software functions. Symbols are useful in displaying such alerts more effectively, but their use is not limited to alert functions. You can also use symbols in conveying any kind of information that is complex, hard to remember, or difficult to express using words or abbreviations. Using symbology is a convenient way of keeping track of many similar functional details in hardware or software products. Therefore, it is important to understand how to design these functions.
The use of alerts is inevitable in all product design. From simple lifestyle applications to military avionics, alerts play a significant role in updating users about background activities or warning them about major errors or failures that require their attention. However, users can ignore most of the alerts in lifestyle applications and expect no major consequences. For example, while a security update might be essential, the user can attend to it at a later time. Read More