10 Principles of UI Masters

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I really love UI (User Interface).  Like my buddy Matt T says, “I’m not ‘smart’ enough to do UI, but I know a good one when I see it.”

Breathtaking and useful designs happen because the UI has been worked on tirelessly. It takes a real UI Master to understand how to make a terrific user experience on a website.

That is so true – UI is hard, and great UI is even harder.  The post goes on to tell about 10 principcals which great UI people live by.

  1. Don’t Forget About the User – Jason Fried
    Tom: Sometimes we just cannot forget the site is not for “us”, its for the user.  We need to identify that user and make sure we have their interests in mind.
  2. Don’t Overlook Error Pages – Jakob Nielsen
    Tom: This may be one of the biggest mistakes people make – they get the site done, and then take a break…but they forget that the “old” site had pages too.  Where do those go now?   Are they still available?
  3. Always Set a Background Color – Jeffrey Zeldman
  4. Don’t Overdo Accessibility Features – Roger Johansson
  5. Use Epicenter Design – Jason Fried
  6. Watch Your Users – Collis Ta’eed
    Tom: If you have never been humbled by this exercise – you need to be.  It will spin your head.
  7. Give Incentives For Users to Complete Forms – Jim Kukral
  8. Keep the UI Consistent – Jakob Nielsen
    Tom: My first reaction to this is “duh” – but its a good point.
  9. Keep Jargon to a Minimum – Erin Kissane
  10. Make a Prototype Instead of a Wireframe – David Verba

This stuff is lightsout cool.  And when it is “on”, it really can make a site sing.  If you have examples of good design, please post it to the comments.

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