Posts Tagged ‘GUI’

Serious in GUI design? Interface Builder is not good for designers?

Well, if you are a hardcore programmer, probably Interface Builder on Mac or the integrated resource editor for Visual Studio can be good enough. But there are certain times to define how things work in advance, or those tools are not easy for GUI designers to use.
Then… it’s time you need a GUI prototyping tool.

There have been many, but nowadays, these two commercial S/W programs appear on Google.

We can use trial versions to see how they work.

Transitional Interfaces

OK. Nowadays every iOS developers look like addicts to nice appealing design. Although the tendency is much better than how it was around 1997 on Windows, I tend to notice that there are lots of too much extra decoration in apps.

A few months ago, I talked with a head of Mac/iOS app development team of a certain company. While I was talking about balanced design between excessive decoration and “stock” look of a native platform, he misunderstood it and showed negative feeling about even modest and appealing GUI.

Strangely, here in the US, people tend to take only the radical side.
However, today, I found a very well balanced view on GUI design. Please read Transitional Interfaces. It’s really well written.

Also, follow some discussion on that at Branch.

GUI is not only for making screen look pretty

Do you remember people called Mac a toy because it utilized graphical elements? After about 10 years of laughing at Apple Mac, they all started to use “Mac”. What? Are you saying Mac haven’t ever been a mainstream PC so far? Right.I agree. However, you all use “Mac” called “MS Windows”.

What I’m saying is the paradigm the specific “Mac” brought, not the specific “Mac”.

I remember 90’s and early 2000’s where people wrote lots of dial-up GUI program for modems. They created many mp3 players with various skin support. Some Linux people ( including me ) played with skinning their desktop.

But there is one thing they missed : “GUI is not only for making your screen look pretty.”
Under the name of “skin” or “theme”, I have seen many ugly, childish, flash skins for years. They didn’t help us to use computers more easily or more in productive way. Many people at influential company still don’t seem to understand what GUI is. The tendency doesn’t seem to be changed.

Take a look at this.

Look should follow functionality

The “Where condition = ” has serious problem. I wasted about 2 days because of this.
Because the label says “Where condition =“, I populated its field without “=” as its first character. Consequently, my script didn’t work properly, and it even didn’t present any error messages.
If they wanted to put “=” as part of the label, they should work without “=” in its field, or vice versa.

Another example is “uncategorized list of information”
MS is notorious about this from its IE configuration settings. Compared to other web browsers, i.e. Firefox, it is very difficult to identify or find a setting or a property you want to set. Why? Because they are just a list of those settings not categorized or classified as that of Firefox.
Here, MS Access has the problem also. ( It seems to be standardized with MS products : from Visual Studio to Office. )

Try to find any option you want to find. There are more to come if you scroll down there

As you can see, it is very difficult to find information you want quickly. They are not even in alphabetic order, or there is no search box. If they are categorized as “Background”, “Text”, etc, it can be easy to find which setting to find.

Those two examples may be trivial, but impact the usability a lot. I said that I wasted 2 days!

A Difference between Mac and Windows

I wrote about a difference between Mac and Windows at my another blog.
Sorry that it is written in Korean only.

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