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Article: Designing and selecting components for user interfaces

The User Interface Resource Centre have published an article I wrote for them called What, Where, How: Designing and selecting components for user interfaces.

The article is about how to make sure your components will be usable and easy to learn. It covers some fundamental cognitive principles and their implications for component selection.

4 Responses to “Article: Designing and selecting components for user interfaces”

  1. Joe Sokohl Says:

    Great article, Donna! Just what I needed to read today, in fact–so thanks for writing such a useful piece.

  2. Donna Spencer Says:

    thanks joe!

  3. Patrick Kennedy Says:

    I have to agree, that’s really well written, Donna.

    But I must take issue with your Lego analogy. As all Lego fans will tell you, Lego sculpture is indeed made up of only a few kinds of block, which when viewed from further away allow gives the impression of smooth shapes. On the other hand, a Lego model (ie a kit you buy in a store) would require a wider selection of blocks to be effective. It’s a matter of scale, if the blocks are merely pixels in a large scale sculpture you need very few kinds of blocks, whereas at a smaller scale you need more kinds of blocks—indeed even specialised pieces that exactly resemble real world items such as wheels and tires.

    Dreadfully geeky, but Lego is a very valuable educational tool from a design and engineering perspective (at least that’s my excuse :)

  4. Donna Spencer Says:

    Thanks Pat. I probably should have thought that through ;) Maybe I’ll go buy my daughter some lego for Christmas and figure out what it’s all about (I never had it – only my brother did).

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