Aug 04

Can anybody guess why buggy software’s from Microsoft are huge success? Or Why Apple proprietary products are tremendous success? What’s the common factor between both these success stories? Highly effective User Interface!

To design a simple UI is not a rocket science, but it is a spoon full of engineering and whole lot of art. Anyone can create a decent UI, but to define and design effective user interface takes creative thinking, analytical aptitude, research, time and above all an ability to put one’s self into end user’s shoe. Most of the user interfaces fail to attract the end users because of one of the ingredients missing above.

Designing an effective UI is never easy, but it easy to spot a bad one. Just find frustrated user rolling their eyes while using the system. That’s bad UI! UI is one of the most critical factors that makes or breaks the system. It is never a power point presentation, but it is physical translation of user’s expectations from “computer”.

There are different factors that should be considered to make the UI more effective.

Logical and Physical Arrangement: The screen should be structured and the fields and controls have to be arranged logically according to the flow of process. So that the user can navigate through the fields easily and the entry process is optimal and effective.

Right Information: The information provided should be “just” right. There should be not too much information nor too less information. Simple to use and easy to understand.

Aesthetics: The screen design should be visually appealing and easy on user’s eyes.

Consistency: The design should be consistent at all the places, so that user understands the flow and knows what to expect. It should not be work of Picasso at one place and that of Leonardo de Vinci at others!

Navigation: The navigation should be logical and inline with process flow. User should not need to play hop scotch while using the screen.

Thus UI design is THE most important part of designing any system and must not be underestimated.

This just a beginning! Lot more to come…Stay Tuned!

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