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Design

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?

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