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Article: What Would Alan Cooper Do?

by Abel Avram on Feb 12, 2009 |

In this article, Naysawn Naderi makes a summary of About Face 3, Alan Cooper’s book, noting some key takeaway points. The User Interface plays an important role in an application, be it a desktop one, a web application or a mobile one, and the guidelines contained by the article help creating better interfaces.

Read: What Would Alan Cooper Do?

The key points contained by Naysawn’s article are:

Design for Intermediates Users – Most products are developed for either beginners or advanced users, but they should target the intermediate ones since they represent 80% of the target users.

Use Tools that Help Beginners to Become Intermediates – The interface should provide different helps for beginners than intermediates.

Less is More – Provide as little graphical controls as possible.

Design for the Probable, Provide for the Possible – Make most probably tasks to be most accessible (1 click), but also have options for possible tasks.

Eliminate Errors or Confirmation Dialogs – Avoid error and confirmation dialogs as much as possible.

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Eliminate Errors or Confirmation Dialogs by Etienne Savard

I agree with you that most error dialogs only make sense only to a programmer.

A good minimalist approach will be to have confirmation dialogs only for "destructive" and irreversible user actions (ie: disk formatting, overwriting existing files, etc.) In all other case, a status bar is just fine to display success or error messages without distracting the user.

Etienne.
www.symbiosoft.net

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