Thinking Inside a Smaller Box

27 Sep
By Mike Heydlauf
Introducing artificial constraints to assist decide where to begin when the choices seem limitless.

Crafting truly inspired user interface designs is tricky. Any schmoe can slap a listbox and a pair of buttons on a screen and meet a user need (although sometimes a few buttons and a listbox is the optimal design). However, as modern software development tools similar to WPF unshackle developers to allow them to efficiently realize any design they are able to dream up, we have now a responsibility to more vigorously challenge our design proposals. While I DON’T advocate complexity or innovation for his or her own sake, there are cases where challenging conventional design metaphors can result in a lot more elegant and pleasing solutions for users. If we’re to create user interactions that transcend from the standard into the sublime, we have to invest significantly more energy and creativity. Modern tools allow us to ask, “Maybe this listbox need to be a solar system”, but these questions don’t ask themselves.

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Posted by on September 27, 2011 in Magazine


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