Friday, August 29, 2014

Five tips for a better user interface

Máirín Duffy writes at the Red Hat Developer Blog with 5 UX Tips for Developers. Duffy is a principal interaction designer with Red Hat, who works on the Fedora Engineering team and on the interaction design for Hyperkitty's UI. In her article, Duffy shares these five tips for a better user interface:
  1. Prioritize for the best impact
  2. Remove / prevent the extraneous
  3. Make it easy to access functionality
  4. Set reasonable defaults
  5. Design before you code
In the last point, Duffy provides this example:
"Do some quick sketches of how you think a feature might work—use one sheet of paper per screen involved. Show these sketches to others on your team, or even better, buy some friends who might be potential users each a cup of coffee and ask them to sit down with you and go through the screens. What problem are you trying to solve with the feature you’re working on? Explain the problem to your testers. Then ask them—without too much hand holding—to point at where on each screen they would think to go in order to try to solve the problem."
You should recognize this as a prototype. Creating a paper prototype is one of several methods in usability, especially early in the design/development process.

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