I've decided to spend some time doing a brain dump of everything I know about great user experiences. Here's the first of what I hope will be a fun and inspiring journey. I also expect this series will serve as a replacement for the book on great UI that I'm unlikely to ever write....
The most important thing to start with is the knowledge that great UI is all about three things:
Clarity is the ease of understanding presented information.
Efficiency is the ease of control and movement through the data. There are obvious physical components to this, and there are not-so-obvious mental components as well.
Discoverability is the ease of finding and understanding that which lies below the surface.
So the challenge to creating a great UI is to maximize all three of these. However, this is rarely easy to do, as there are many paths we might take, and natural tensions that exist along those paths.
In future posts, I'll show how to measure efficiency, clarity, and discoverability, and talk about interesting ways we can improve these elements of the user experience. And as always, I encourage interaction and ideas from you. Feel free to post a comment below, or email me directly at markm at the Dev Express domain.
No series on great UI would be complete without a discussion about the value of great UI. And so in future posts we'll show how to measure the cost of poor UI. Today, I'll just leave you with an observation you may find interesting. There appear to be correlations among the following:
In the next post, we'll look at why great UI is so hard to achieve.