Coordinating User Interfaces for Consistency by Jakob Nielsen

By Jakob Nielsen

In the years because Jakob Nielsens vintage assortment on interface consistency first seemed, a lot has replaced, and lots more and plenty has stayed a similar. at the one hand, theres been exponential development within the possibilities for following or pushing aside the rules of interface consistency-more pcs, extra functions, extra clients, and naturally the colossal expanse of the internet. at the different, there are the rules themselves, as chronic and as worthy as ever.

In those contributed chapters, youll locate info on many equipment for looking and imposing consistency, besides bottom-line analyses of its advantages and a few warnings approximately its attainable hazards. so much of what youll examine applies both to and software program improvement, and it all holds actual advantages for either your company and your clients.

* starts with a brand new preface through the collections exclusive editor.
* info quite a few equipment for reaching interface consistency, together with vital keep watch over, person definitions, exemplary functions, shared code, and version analysis.
* provides a cost-benefits research of organizational efforts to advertise and attain consistency.
* Examines and appraises the scale of consistency-consistency inside an software, throughout a relatives of purposes, and beyond.
* Makes the case for a few unforeseen merits of interface consistency whereas assisting you stay away from the dangers it could possibly occasionally entail.
* Considers the consistency of interface components except display design.
* contains case reports of significant agencies that experience instituted courses to make sure the consistency in their items.

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Additional candidates for adoption of a standard UI include Microsoft Windows and the Apple Macintosh user interface. Adopting an established design has its advantages. It can lead to major A Cost Benefit Analysis 31 cost savings, particularly if software support is available to assist in creating actual UI code. For small software vendors, this may be the least risky and the most cost-effective approach. Unfortunately, a large corporation may not benefit from adopting an established user interface standard.

Once a document or user interface exists, it meets or sets a standard format for related documents and software. The format of related documents and user interfaces should be consistent so that people can learn based on their experience, not in spite of it. Analogy is a powerful human learning mechanism [Rumelhart & Norman, 1981], and we should take advantage of it by producing consistent documents and systems. Economy of Expression Finally, MLTS supports abbreviation. Information in a database is about as abbreviated as possible, this information is crossed, in the Cartesian settheoretical sense, with templates for each language, thereby multiplying productivity.

It is not surprising that most of the cost of software is in maintenance and changes to working software. MLTS allows people to design for redesign. Coordinating Consistency of User Interfaces 51 MLTS is resilient to changes of standards and software tools. Personal experience taught me this well. While working on a system written in the IFS user interface language, the definition of the user interface language changed, leaving me with 200,000 lines of unworking code. Because I had generated the user interface language with templates from a database, I avoided many hours of work by some minor changes to a few languagespecific templates.

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