To some, user-interface (UI) design or Web design might seem like work that relies solely on creativity and seeking innovative ideas. However, you should always base your design solutions on a few rules that optimize the entire design process—such as Ben Shneiderman’s eight golden rules of user-interface design.
Shneiderman pioneered the concepts behind his eight golden rules after conducting fundamental research in the field of human-computer interaction. Although Shneiderman defined his eight golden rules back in 1985, their timelessness has ensured that they are still in use by application and Web designers all around the world.
In this article, we’ll discuss Shneiderman’s eight golden rules, and supplement them with practical tips and examples to help you apply these universal principles in your daily work as a UX designer. Read More
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