togs principles - TOG AND INTERFACES First Principles of...

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TOG AND INTERFACES First Principles of Interaction Design Effective interfaces are visually apparent and forgiving, instilling in their users a sense of control. Users quickly see the breadth of their options, grasp how to achieve their goals, and do their work. Effective interfaces do not concern the user with the inner workings of the system. Work is carefully and continuously saved, with full option for the user to undo any activity at any time. Effective applications and services perform a maximum of work, while requiring a minimum of information from users.This work is copyright 2003 by Bruce Tognazzini. Permission to make copies for personal use is granted without reservation, provided this copyright notice remains on the copy. Please contact the author for permission to republish on a web site, to publish in bound form, or to make multiple copies, except that educators and in-house corporate trainers may make sufficient copies for their own students. No commerical use may be made of the work beyond this in-house exception. This notice must be retained together with any version of the work. ANTICIPATION: Applications should attempt to anticipate the user’s wants and needs. Do not expect users to search for or gather information or evoke necessary tools. Bring to the user all the information and tools needed for each step of the process. AUTONOMY A The computer, the interface, and the task environment all "belong" to the user, but user-autonomy doesn’t mean we abandon rules. Give users some breathing room. Users learn quickly and gain a fast sense of mastery when they are placed "in charge." Paradoxically, however, people do not feel free in the absence of all boundaries (Yallum, 1980). A little child will cry equally when held too tight or left to wander in a large and empty warehouse. Adults, too, feel most comfortable in an environment that is neither confining nor infinite, an environment explorable, but not hazardous. n Use status mechanisms to keep users aware and informed. No autonomy can exist in the absence of control, and control cannot be exerted in the absence of sufficient information. Status mechanisms are vital to supplying the information necessary for workers to respond appropriately to changing conditions. As a simple example, workers, failing status information, will tend to maintain heightened pressure on themselves during slow periods, until the moment the work actually runs out. This will stress and fatigue them unnecessarily, so that when the next rush occurs, they may be lacking the physical and mental reserves to handle it. m Keep status information up to date and within easy view
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Users should not have to seek out status information. Rather, they should be able to glance at their work environment and be able to gather at least a first approximation of state and workload. Status information can be quite subtle: the inbox icon could be switched to show an empty, somewhat full, or stuffed state. This, however, should not be
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togs principles - TOG AND INTERFACES First Principles of...

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