[Design] Gloabl UI Design
dvareika at vareika.com.uy
Tue Nov 29 07:00:07 PST 2005
Part on purpose and part due to time constrains, I tried not to answer
this thread immediately.
It has been, at least for me, (with all due respect to the opinion of
everyone), an enlightening experience.
I never thought how visceral could be the reactions to GUI Design
regarding breaking rules. It is indeed something to take into account.
For me at least, I wholeheartedly agree with Alec in his POV.
When I first wrote the first e-mail, it wasn´t about breaking standards
just for the purpose of doing so.
Neither it was for making another NOT useful skin.
Personally I don´t like skins, (as a technology... maybe), but the
implementations I have seen, most of them don´t contribute to making a
program a better one.
What I meant was simply to consider a unified design across platforms
whether it made sense. Not a Skin, not to disregard guidelines where it
made sense that are platform specific.
Visual Design of a program is not only cosmetic although I have a
feeling that some people might feel or thought this way.
It is not for "marketing reasons" that one should make a program attractive.
First and foremost a well implemented GUI it´s the link between the real
program and the user. It´s part of the User Experience. It can make the
difference no matter how important the technology underneath the hood
is, and how well implemented it has been.
Technology like the repository are the cornerstones of Chandler. Without
them Chandler would not exist. A good or even excellent GUI would mean
nothing if the cornerstones of the program were not solid foundations.
The other way is not true. Maybe Chandler could exist regardless of an
excellent GUI, but to achieve excellency, a well designed interaction
with the Human Being is a "must", and as such, should be regarded with
Chandler is breaking some rules, it is innovating, and in my humble
opinion, must do the same regarding the interface design, the
interaction experience (lets drop the GUI for this one).
It´s a must not a should.
It is obvious that first come the cornerstones like with any building.
Good foundations are a must to build from there, onward!
PS1: Open Question: When you first met someone you liked, that you felt
attracted too, was it for their mental qualities or other form of
attractions, like physical, how they spoke, how they behaved, their body
language, how does anybody express themself through the use of clothes,
how does one have their hair cut, etc..
Even people that makes a point in not taking care of their look they are
indeed differentiating from the rest in their own special way, through
this form of expression.
PS2: Just to make things clear: for me a good GUI should empower people,
making them more productive while being (the most) intuitive in it´s
use, should be legible, clear and make the best out of the real
constrains that imposes the lack of real state in the monitor.
The interface is not (only) buttons and windows. It is in fact how do
you design the experience for the user.
The interface IS important and not (only) for marketing reasons!
Thanks a lot once again,
Alec Flett wrote:
> I feel like we're walking down the path of trying to apply all
> heuristics as law, and apply them all the time. The above statement
> ("good software shouldn't...") is an opinion, not a fact. Heuristics
> are guidelines, best practices, not law. (Though to be fare, every
> good XP project has to have this same debate at least once in its
> The simple "fact" is that I never notice that the "Ok" button is on
> one side or the other on one platform or another. I always click with
> my mouse on whatever button says whatever I want. Does that mean that
> nobody cares about that? No, because clearly Nick and many many other
> people do. But flipped around, does the fact that Nick pays close
> attention to where Ok and Cancel mean that every user is going to get
> up in arms if we screw that up? No. And ultimately, is the placement
> of Ok and Cancel a hard problem? I would hope that for the sake of
> this argument, that's a No as well.
> The real issue here is not the placement of Ok and Cancel, the real
> issue is how closely to the platform do you write your XP app? I think
> an orthogonal, but perhaps more important question is, how much do you
> break ANY platform's heuristics in order to create new, innovative UI.
> And if you're breaking the Mac's heuristics to try an innovative UI,
> does it really matter if you're going to break windows and linux as well?
> I think the perfect example of this, that we're all familiar with now,
> is the back/forward buttons in browsers. When Netscape 4 (or was it
> 2/3?) came out, it had these funky buttons in the toolbar that when
> you clicked once they did one thing, and when you held down the
> button, a dropdown history list appeared. They did this on all 3
> platforms and it didn't follow the heuristics of any of these
> platforms. It got mixed reactions. Microsoft iterated on this behavior
> and added an actual dropdown arrow to the right of each button, and it
> turns out users prefered that. But in any case both of these designs
> were obviously breaking the heuristics of Microsoft's own platform.
> This new design However, Netscape's initial innovation spurred
> development of this new button-dropdown hybrid. This is now standard
> fare for most browsers on all three platforms. In fact it has become
> part of the defacto heuristics for writing a browser.
> So my point is this: if we're going to break from the standards of any
> platform, lets throw caution to the wind and break it everywhere...
> and not be afraid of where the Ok/Cancel buttons are going to land.
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