No she died about 15 years ago.
Most of these principles can be applied to either command-line or graphical environments. I welcome suggestions for changes and additions -- I would like this to be viewed as an "open-source" evolving document.
The principle of user profiling -- Know who your user is. Before we can answer the question "How do we make our user-interfaces better", we must first answer the question: A design that is better for a technically skilled user might not be better for a non-technical businessman or an artist. One way around this problem is to create user models.
The result of this process is a detailed description of one or more "average" users, with specific details such as: What are the user's goals? What are the user's skills and experience? What are the user's needs?
Armed with this information, we can then proceed to answer the question: How do we leverage the user's strengths and create an interface that helps them achieve their goals?
In the case of a large general-purpose piece of software such as an operating system, there may be many different kinds of potential users. In this case it may be more useful to come up with a list of user dichotomies, such as "skilled vs. Another way of answering this question is to talk to some real users.
Direct contact between end-users and developers has often radically transformed the development process. The principle of metaphor -- Borrow behaviors from systems familiar to your users.
Frequently a complex software system can be understood more easily if the user interface is depicted in a way that resembles some commonplace system.
The ubiquitous "Desktop metaphor" is an overused and trite example. Another is the tape deck metaphor seen on many audio and video player programs. In addition to the standard transport controls play, rewind, etc.
This concept of "extendibility" is what distinguishes a powerful metaphor from a weak one. There are several factors to consider when using a metaphor: Once a metaphor is chosen, it should be spread widely throughout the interface, rather than used once at a specific point.
Even better would be to use the same metaphor spread over several applications the tape transport controls described above is a good example. Don't bother thinking up a metaphor which is only going to apply to a single button.
There's no reason why an application cannot incorporate several different metaphors, as long as they don't clash. Music sequencers, for example, often incorporate both "tape transport" and "sheet music" metaphors.
Metaphor isn't always necessary. In many cases the natural function of the software itself is easier to comprehend than any real-world analog of it.
Don't strain a metaphor in adapting it to the program's real function. Nor should you strain the meaning of a particular program feature in order to adapt it to a metaphor. Incorporating a metaphor is not without certain risks. In particular, whenever physical objects are represented in a computer system, we inherit not only the beneficial functions of those objects but also the detrimental aspects.
Be aware that some metaphors don't cross cultural boundaries well. For example, Americans would instantly recognize the common U. Mailbox with a rounded top, a flat bottom, and a little red flag on the sidebut there are no mailboxes of this style in Europe.
The principle of feature exposure -- Let the user see clearly what functions are available Software developers tend to have little difficulty keeping large, complex mental models in their heads.
But not everyone prefers to "live in their heads" -- instead, they prefer to concentrate on analyzing the sensory details of the environment, rather than spending large amounts of time refining and perfecting abstract models.
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Last time it was discussed how to write about success and today we are going to talk about writing an observation essay. Either in high school or a college, students are frequently assigned to compose observation essays.
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