Interface Design Questions: What To Include…
- Everything requested in the question!
- You should pretty much always have title (some underlined text at the top of the screen / box / page will do, even if it seems pointless)
- Subtitles are often helpful
- It’s also important to have a clear button or a reset button
- An exit button is usually necessary
- At least one label explaining to the user what each field requires
- A variety of input methods, where appropriate, such as drop downs, radio buttons, sliders, text fields and buttons
- If you’re stuck for things to fill the space (and it’s very important to fill the whole space), you could add a help button and loads of explanatory labels
- You should use the space outside the provided area to annotate your design – draw lines to each item and add some text to make it clear exactly what each thing you’ve drawn is / does
Things To Consider
- What hardware will the interface be used on? That’ll have a big influence on its design
- If you’re asked to design an interface for a touchscreen, remember that buttons need to be big enough to press, as the user won’t have a precise pointer (just a finger)
- It wouldn’t hurt to draw attention to how suitable your interface is to the hardware in the annotations
- That’s not the only important factor, though…
- Who will be using the interface? Do they have any special requirements?
- What circumstances will the interface be used in? (In a noisy place, a flashing light would be easier to notice than an alarm sound, for example)
- How experienced with computers is the user? Do you need to restrict them to only a few options, to make it easier for them?
- What information needs to be conveyed?
- What output formats would be best suited to the information?
- How can information overload be prevented?
Why Good Interface Design is Important
- Interfaces often need to be easy for inexperienced users
- If interfaces are consistent, people will become familiar with them
- Interfaces need to do what the user expects when they perform an action
- Good interfaces make things clear and obvious
- Users will make more mistakes if an interface is bad
- It’s generally not considered good to have to learn lots of commands in order to be able to use the interface
- User Interfaces – AS Computing Revision (F451 and F452) (mattg99.wordpress.com)
- Program Design (Bottom Up and Stepwise Refinement) – AS Computing Revision (F452) (mattg99.wordpress.com)