An attractive, functional and straightforward software interface can certainly make the distinction between a product´s failure or success. This sounds more than practical, however user interface layout and tests are often being disregarded by both big and small software producers. If an end-user discovers a user interface being less than logical, obscure and uncomfortable to utilize, then a product which may have been fantastic, is bound to failure.
The Main Goal of Any Interface
When designing a software application user interface, the primary aspect to take into consideration is its general acceptance by end-users. After all, users would like to carry out their tasks as swiftly and simply as possible, and the user interface is just a tool to accomplish this goal. So, any application developer need to make sure that the ultimate software product includes a visually beautiful, flexible and simple to use user interface.
However, numerous IT firms usually pay little attention to the principles and methods needed to design an excellent graphical user interface. “All that matters is that the application works!” seems to be their motto. However with this philosophy, they are forgetting about the multitude of inconveniences and issues that they are causing towards the end-users of the products. If a visual program obliges an individual to frequently consult the guide manual, it’s time to enhance the interface design. Moreover, frequent necessity of assistance to have the ability to work with an interface is really a clear indication of an inflexible application product that considerably reduces efficiency, as end users need more hours and concentration to perform their tasks.
The Golden Rules of a User-Friendly Application Interface Design
Fortunately, a clumsy interface can be easily enhanced and avoided by using some simple rules ? Five Golden Rules to create a great, professional and straightforward application interface.
Consistency. An excellent interface should let users to execute exactly the same series of actions in similar situations, as well as the terminology used throughout menus, windows and dialog boxes ought to be consistent.
Speed. Frequent users should be able to work with shortcuts, to increase the interaction pace. Key blends, hidden commands, etc. are extremely beneficial to skilled users.
Feedback. Each action should be followed by some sort of system feedback, for instance short messages.
Aesthetics. A beautiful interface boosts end-user delight as it helps make the user experience much more pleasant.
Action reversal. A good user interface shouldn’t punish its users for their mistakes. Rather, it needs to offer them the possibility to undo their steps, for instance via the typical ‘Undo’ button. This way, users will be more relaxed while doing work and tend to discover a lot of the product´s features.
Apart from these Golden Principles for the design of a flexible and user friendly application interface, you should keep in mind some other aspects of a sophisticated and flexible user interface. For example, enabling users to get in data via checkboxes and dropdown menus, as opposed to having to enter all information by hand, greatly makes easier any task. Another helpful element is incorporating dialog boxes that advice the users through the actions required to carry out a task, and even mindful choice of icons and other images helps to turn a steep learning curve in to a short and gentle slope.
In this regard, more trivial aspects for instance spelling as well as grammar should be paid attention to. After all, badly-written directions may prevent or perhaps hinder some tasks or actions, plus they certainly reflect a dreadful picture of both the software developers and the development company.
To Software Quality
In a nutshell, any firm that aims to stand out of the competition with professional products of superior quality, should pay special attention to the areas of usability and adaptability of the software application’s interface, since these are very important and decisive elements in software program quality.
André Klein & Julio A. Olivares
Presidente y fundador de DocPath