Category Archives: Interaction design

More First Principles of Interaction Design

By Bruce Tempkin

1.   Anticipation Applications should attempt to anticipate the user’s wants and needs

2.   Autonomy The computer, the interface, and the task environment all “belong” to the user, but user-autonomy doesn’t mean we abandon rules.

3.   Color Blindness Any time you use color to convey information in the interface, you should also use clear, secondary cues to convey the information to those who won’t be experiencing any color coding today.

4.   Consistency The following principles, taken together, offer the interaction designer tremendous latitude in the evolution of a product without seriously disrupting those areas of consistency most important to the user.

5.   Defaults Defaults should be easy to “blow away:” Fields containing defaults should come up selected, so users can replace the default contents with new material quickly and easily.

6.   Efficiency of the User Look at the user’s productivity, not the computer’s.

7.   Explorable Interfaces Give users well-marked roads and landmarks, then let them shift into four-wheel drive.

8.   Fitts’ Law The time to acquire a target is a function of the distance to and size of the target.

9.   Human Interface Objects Human-interface objects are not necessarily the same as objects found in object-oriented systems.

10.Latency Reduction Wherever possible, use multi-threading to push latency into the background.

11. Learnability Ideally, products would have no learning curve: users would walk up to them for the very first time and achieve instant mastery.

12. Metaphors, Use of Choose metaphors well, metaphors that will enable users to instantly grasp the finest details of the conceptual model.

13. Protect Users’ Work Ensure that users never lose their work as a result of error on their part, the vagaries of Internet transmission, or any other reason other than the completely unavoidable, such as sudden loss of power to the client  computer.

14. Readability Text that must be read should have high contrast.

15. Track State Because many of our browser-based products exist in a stateless environment, we have the responsibility to track state as needed.

16. Visible Navigation Avoid invisible navigation

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