Principles of UI, A Thread:
1. natural mapping
2. visibility of system state
3. discoverability
4. constraints and affordances
5. habits and spatial memory
6. locus of attention
7. no modes
8. fast feedback
9. do not cause harm to a user's data or through inaction allow user data to come to harm
10. prefer undo to confirmation boxes. For actions that can't be undone, force a "cooling off" period of at least 30 seconds.
11. measure using Fitt's, Hick's, GOMS, etc. but always test with real users.

12. don't assume that your skills or knowledge of computers as a designer or programmer in any way resemble the skills or knowledge of your users.

13. Consider the natural order of tasks in a flow of thought. Verb-Noun vs. Noun verb. Dependency->Dependants vs. Dependants->Dependencies.

14. Instead of having noob mode and advanced mode, use visual and logical hierarchies to organise functions by importance.

15. Everything is an interface, the world, learning new things, even perception itself

16. Consider the psychology of panic. Panic kills scuba divers, panic kills pilots. panic kills soldiers. panic loses tennis matches. Panic leads to stupid mistakes on a computer.
more at:!.h

17. Consider the 3 important limits of your user's patience:
0.1 second, 1 second, 10 seconds

18. An interface whose human factors are well considered, but looks like butt, still trumps an interface that looks slick but is terrible to use. An interface that is well considered AND looks good trumps both, and is perceived by users to work better than the same exact interface with an ugly design.

19. Don't force the user to remember things if you can help it. Humans are really bad at remembering things. This includes passwords, sms codes, sums, function names, and so on. My own personal philosophy is to consider humans a part of your system, and design around our shortcomings instead of thinking of users as adversaries. Software should serve humans, humans shouldn't serve software.

20. Some Sources:
Donald Norman
Jef Raskin
Jacob Nielsen
Bruce "Tog" Tognazzini

I recommend all the talks by Alan Kay and Bret Victor, here's two:

Doing with Images Makes Symbols
The Future Of Programming

The first 8 items of this thread are extremely terse, to the point of being meaningless on their own. Please use them as search terms, or ask me to expand on them when my dog isn't barking at me to go to bed.

21. Gall’s Law:
A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have to start over with a working simple system.

22. show, don’t tell. lengthy tutorials and “protips” forced on the user at app start usually do nothing other than get in the way of the user’s task. if you want to teach the user about a feature, include easy to find examples.

23. don’t interrupt flow of thought. if a user is opening an application, they usually have some specific task to complete. nagging them at this point in time about software updates or handy tips is very user hostile.

24.many jokes are made about the “save” icon looking like a floppy disk. it’s very appropriate, since the command as a concept is built around the technological limits of floppy disks, limits that are comically irrelevant in the 21st century.drag your app out of the 1980s and implement autosave and version control already.

25. consistency consistently consistent. there’s few things more fun than designing your own custom ui widget toolkit, css framework, or interaction paradigm. however, please strongly consider *not* doing this. custom UI is like ugly baby photos. instead, stick as much to the HIG guidelines and conventions of the platform you are on, so users can use what they’ve already learned about where things usually are, and what the fuck the weird molecule icon does.

@zensaiyuki I do try to adhear to this for Odysseus (in bridging between an elementary OS & Web experiences), but for my other browser(s) I'm guilty of all three.

But really that's in the name of giving webdevs something even cooler to play with: Building webpages that works great on absolutely any device and/or OS!

@alcinnz i wouldn’t begrudge anyone their fun or their experiments trying to push the state of UI forward. brace for failure though. hopefully the “ugly baby photos” metaphors makes sense. years ago I took a photography class that forbade pet photos. Your pets always look beautiful to you, but that’s not enough to make it a good photo interesting for everyone else to look at.

@zensaiyuki Well, success to me looks like webdevs building more accessible pages. For it to be feasable for others to build their own, simpler, browser engines to display those pages. And for The Web to better protect users' privacy!

What I really care about are the deeper architectural issues, which I may still fail at.

@alcinnz that’s fine, my comment wasn’t personal. you’re talking to someone who designs widget toolkits for fun and has a list of UI guidelines pinned to their social media. I’d be a hypocrite to dump on you for designing widgets for fun.

@alcinnz and well, more broadly, you’d have to be fairy resiliant and inattentive to not have been occasionally annoyed by some electron app or cross platform ui toolkit completely breaking the conventions of your os, perhaps even having non standard keyboard shortcuts. or the morass of the linux/unix world where you’d be hard pressed to find any standards whatsoever. the trouble with quitting vim, for instance, isn’t that it’s hard to learn, it’s that it’s not just control+c or control+d


@alcinnz ah! i just rememebered the ui principle i was gonna post the other day and forgot. #32.

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