Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Stretching Your User Interface Design Muscles

Stretching Your User Interface Design Muscles

A follow up to my previous post on innovation in user interface design:


  • If you want to keep up with cutting edge thinking on technology - in a very approachable, effective format - ReadWriteWeb is a must for your feed reader. I'm constantly amazed by the number of solid articles they generate every week. Here's one from a few weeks ago with a series of video examples of imaginative thinking about user input:



  • Another ReadWriteWeb article, and this one relates well to the Stephen Anderson presentation I linked to before. It talks about user interactions (web forms) that empathize with and engage the person working with the site. Excellent examples of usability "in the wild":


  • (via Aggregated Intelligence) A very effective way of designing any interaction with data (web form, application dialog box, even a paper report) is by prototyping. I have long favored MS Excel for working out database designs and report layouts; it's very simple way for end users to capture what they want to see, quickly rearranging and adjusting until it is just right. For on-screen dialogs, try PowerPoint; the second link below takes you to a "toolkit" of GUI components that let you work up sample screens / user interactions very quickly, using the comfortable environment of PowerPoint. Another option might be Visio - I've used versions of that package that included shape templates with lots of user interface widgets. Bottom line - it's a lot easier to sketch something out than to have to actually build something "real".


  • Also from the first article above ... if you don't think there's a difference between corporate IT UI and the consumer Internet - does this ring true for you?



    Previously ...
  • If you want to be more than a programmer, stop programming (April 8, 2005)

  • Sometimes analogies work amazingly well ... (July 14, 2005)

  • Fighting with MS Access and version incompatibility (September 26, 2005)

  • Three Best TLAs of all time, the hegemony of Excel, and the Intuitive Front End (August 12, 2006)

  • Excel vs. RDBMS: Choosing the Technology, Winning the Arguments (March 11, 2007)

  • The Innovation Generation and User Interfaces (April 9, 2008)

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