Each type of user expects the screen layout to accommodate their desires, novices needing extensive help, experts wanting to get where they want to go as quickly as possible.
Accommodating both styles on the same page can be quite challenging. You can address the differences in users by including both menu or icon choices as well as commands (ie. Command or Control P for Print as well as an icon or menu entry), or providing an option for both full descriptive menus and single letter commands. You Should Use the Eight Golden Rules of Interface Design:
1. Strive for consistency
o consistent sequences of actions should be required in similar situations [pic]
The Microsoft Office user interface is consistent for a reason. o identical terminology should be used in prompts, menus, and help screens o consistent color, layout, capitalization, fonts, and so on should be employed throughout.
2. Enable frequent users to use shortcuts
o to increase the pace (kelajuan) of interaction use abbreviations, special keys, hidden commands
3. Offer informative feedback
o for every user action, the system should respond in some way (in web design, this can be accomplished by DHTML - for example, a button will make a clicking sound or change color when clicked to show the user something has happened) [pic]
4. Design dialogs to yield closure
o Sequences of actions should be organized into groups with a beginning, middle, and end. The informative feedback at the completion of a group of actions shows the user their activity has completed successfully o A good example of this is sending an email, you begin by deciding who it will be sent to, you then compose the email and finally, you send the email. Sending is confirmed by an on screen message and the email appearing in your ‘sent’ folder. [pic]
5. Offer error prevention and simple error handling
o design the form so that users cannot make a serious error; for example, prefer menu selection to form fill-in and do not allow alphabetic characters in numeric entry fields o if users make an error, instructions should be written to detect the error and offer simple, constructive, and specific instructions for recovery o segment long forms and send sections separately so that the user is not penalized by having to fill the form in again - but make sure you inform the user that multiple sections are coming up [pic]
6. Permit easy reversal of actions
7. Support internal locus of control (put user in control) o Experienced users want to be in charge. Surprising system actions, tedious sequences of data entries, inability or difficulty in obtaining necessary information, and inability to produce the action desired all build anxiety and dissatisfaction o We should ensure that systems do not become ‘sluggish’ or ‘clunky’ due to the more sophisticated media that devices are now expected to handle. Efficient and careful use of resources is key to this.
8. Reduce short-term memory load
o A famous study suggests that humans can store only 7 (plus or minus 2) pieces of information in their short term memory. You can reduce short term memory load by designing screens where options are clearly visible, or using pull-down menus and icons o Don’t force users to remember complex sequences of actions or difficult codes in order to complete tasks.
‘Drag and Drop’ being...