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Flex727

User Interface

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Like many others in this field, I am the "controls guy" in a manufacturing plant,
and I am often the "Judge, Jury, and Executioner" when it comes to building controls for some new process.

Sometimes it is hard to predict how the end users will take to a design, there are things that seem simple and obvious to me, and completely baffle the user.

I have a third edition copy of About Face, this is an excerpt from the first chapter that kind of sums up the goals of the designer/builder.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Goal-Directed Design is a powerful tool for answering the most important questions that crop up during the definition and design of a digital product:

Who are my users?

What are my users trying to accomplish?

How do my users think about what they’re trying to accomplish?

What kind of experiences do my users find appealing and rewarding?

How should my product behave?

What form should my product take?

How will users interact with my product?

How can my product’s functions be most effectively organized?

How will my product introduce itself to first-time users?

How can my product put an understandable, appealing, and controllable face on
technology?

How can my product deal with problems that users encounter?

How will my product help infrequent and inexperienced users understand how to
accomplish their goals?

How can my product provide sufficient depth and power for expert users?

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Things that make you go Hmmm........

Regards,

JohnR

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Ahhh, John R.

If only politicians would abide by all of these thoughts, instead of just a few of them that they flog to death completely out of context!

I have realised over the years that there are definitely humans that don't have natural intuition at following anything computerish.  Carefully step them through a process until they've got it, and a week later they can't do it again, even though everything is on screen clearly displaying what to do.  There is some sort of mental block.  The classic case is the smart(er?) phone where the same button does different jobs depending what screen you are on.  For some reason this is very confusing to a large percentage of the population.  I don't think there will ever be the "one size fits all". 

However, those same humans can just breeze through other things that I find difficult....we are all different and can only try our best.

cheers,

Aus

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Now, I'm certainly not saying that I religiously follow these suggested guidelines from the book.

As I said, I usually design/build things the way I see them, and show the users what's going on, some get it, some don't.

As Aus said;

"I have realised over the years that there are definitely humans that don't have natural intuition at following anything computerish.  Carefully step them through a process until they've got it, and a week later they can't do it again, even though everything is on screen clearly displaying what to do"

But, I do appreciate the pretense of the book.

As the programmers, we all know well what a given control really does in the big scheme of things, but giving the user a defined control that makes sense to how he thinks the process works is what makes a good user interface.

And I imagine getting to this point would be easier with a whole design team dealing with every step from conception to finished product, gathering user input and all kinds of thoughts of how it should operate........

But, when you are a one man band, trying to bang out something usable against a deadline, you don't always think about how the user will perceive it......


Flex- Interesting what a little joke dredges up......


JohnR

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