What is the best practice for Graphical User Interface(GUI)

  • By: Cris M.
  • Feb 25, 2013
  • 0
Share

Even though Graphical User Interface (GUI) has increased in popularity over the last decade, not too many web or desktop applications boast excellent interface design. Before explaining some great design principles, let’s review what the main mistakes commonly seen are.

Bad Graphical User Interface design

Many times UI developers neglect the needs of the users themselves, and rather choose to focus on what they think is most appropriate. Unfortunately, UI is not the only area within the software design realm where such behaviour occurs – this also appears in documentation, organisation/ project management, testing, and the result of not focusing on the users ends up with users feeling unable to use the product. This is amongst the worst things that can happen to a UX (User Experience) developer.

Disabling users from having entire control over applications is very discouraging. It is in fact opposite from the concept of user-friendly design in which the user is the one who commands the events, rather than the program. And, of course nobody likes to be controlled. The design, flexibility, and usability of your software are the key points every developer should focus their attention on, in order not to repel users from using it.

bad-graphical-user-interface-design
Bad GUI

Interface design trends have gone through many changes over time. Earlier software had a number of features displayed in the main window so that users could find whatever they were looking for. However, this is not the case today. Even though there are more features offered, software trends today usually dictate that these functionalities are hidden under tabs or through other methods, and are accessible only when needed (drop down menu, sliders …). Following this model, developers should make these features and functions easy to find and use, so that users can direct the program swiftly and effortlessly, while keeping the UI neat by hiding them when they are not required

Good Graphical User Interface Design

Above all, great GUIs have more instinctive elements than their equivalents. For instance, graphical representation of predictive human behaviour can help users to learn and use an application comfortably and without a hitch, by recognising how they are going to react.

Good-graphical-user-interface
Good GUI

An additional significant feature of great graphical user interface is reactivity (or speed). In most cases, the speed problems can be attributed to the Graphical User Interface design, rather than the hardware itself. This can force the user’s productivity to drop, which can be a deal-breaker if it is not meeting the user’s needs. Just think about how many e-commerce processes can be affected by low speed performance. Not so long ago, and still even today, payment gateway speed issues could mean that the user clicks to pay twice, as the first response from the site was not quick enough – meaning they could end up paying twice for their shopping cart!

Principles for great Graphical User Interface

Understanding the user’s intuition and needs, and taking these into account through implementing suitable programming into your applications is the highest priority for any project. You need to understand the users entirely, and their reason for visiting your website. Market research for your relevant target demographic can be quite helpful and this will also provide assistance for other areas such as SEM (search engine marketing) and SEO (search engine optimisation).

principles-for-great-gui
Principles for great GUI

Try to design according to what users can perceive and recognise, not what you think they might understand. You might put all your effort into creating and designing an icon that looks appealing and sophisticated, but if it is not received (and perceived) by users correctly, it loses its value. Make sure you avoid such issues, and let users have the best experience possible.\


GUI Timeline
GUI Architectures
GUI Gallery


What is your experience with GUI?
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with others!


Comments

Your email address will not be published.