Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Software GUI Ergonomics

The GUI or graphic user interface must be of three types one for the 'novice' another for the 'expert' and lastly one for the 'hacker', a programmer should not assume that other users think like him. There needs to be 3 levels of GUI.

Some software which has a simple wizard for simple tasks. also programs must work downward 2 processor and OS versions if you want the product to be usable by many.

Good multiple high color icons. install with path option, add icon on desktop option. settings independent of registry. a compiled html help or *.chm. file. a good toolbar with tooltips. shortcuts of main functions. wizards for new users. tabbed advanced options. if possible skins. compact program size. when i see these features. then i know it is a real good product. - 2002

Below is an imaginary UI i whipped up a decade ago to explain this usability. The secret is "no menus". We need buttons all over the place, tabs are good. Advanced Controls hidden or visible on demand. Then a persistent, never hidden "settings icon" with a prominent "reset to defaults". Lastly a UI password admin lock, to prevent any alteration by public users on community/office consoles, machines and gadgets.

Image added around 2010

Software GUI Ergonomics

Too many Knobs, Dials, Switches and Buttons Cluttering the Front panel of an Instrument or Web-application or Software can overwhelm the user and he may not be able to use it properly or may even lead to misuse. So..... we need to use things like euro-controls that was done for Philips TV etc. or Sensible Wizards like in some software . The Advanced options should be available for those who need it. - 2004

delabs Open Computing Ideas - 2004 - Open Source