Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Jason Spisak's Laws of Interface Design

*Fitt was right and no one listened.

I listened and I then implemented corner targets in GoldOS. However, now I use a large monitor at home and I use a tablet in public.  I also suspect I am not unique in this regard.

In neither setup are corner targets a good idea, because on a very large monitor the size of the target doesn't make up for the long distance and on a tablet you have to consider Fitt's law in 3D, so in neither case corner targets are a good solution there.

A much better solution is to use a pie menu with four elements that represent each corner target. Then users can access any of the targets by moving the mouse in the direction of any of the four corners, and this will eventually became a part of muscle memory. Similarly, pie menu can be accessed using gestures on a touch screen.

* Nested menus are evil.

* Pop up dialogs and ballons are a horrible interface tool.

Nested menus, pop up dialogs, ballons, etc, are all products of placing things in menus rather then in place, which is what happens in a ZUI. I strongly oppose all forms of popups, which is something I have written about extensively in the past.

* Scrolling sucks.

I think what you mean here is that forced scrolling sucks. We should have a ZUI which lets allows you to zoom out and get a birds eye view of things whenever you want to.

* The drag-and-drop desktop and its icons are the junk-drawer of the modern computer and should be eliminated.

I totally agree with this. The desktop is a unzoomable pane with space constraints. It is not a viable part of any ZUI.

* Drill down interfaces are evil

* Configuration gluttony must be stopped.

In modern operating systems in order to find what you want you have to search through cumbersome drill down interfaces, and then to get the system to behave the way you want you have to manually specify it in configuration files.

On the other hand, an AI system uses intelligent search algorithms to satisfy the users every want and need, regardless of rather they are specified as a long term configuration file or as a short term query.

* Consistency is worth more than multiple placement.

Consistency certainly is an important part of HCI design and the biggest source of inconsistencies are applications. In an AI system, there are no applications, there is just a unified system which does whatever you want it to do.

No comments:

Post a Comment