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Issue 9.4

FEATURE

The GUI Design GUIde

Building your app's user interface

Issue: 9.4 (May/June 2011)
Author: Tam Hanna
Author Bio: Tam Hanna, founder of Tamoggemon Ltd., has developed mobile apps since 2004. In addition, he acts as a consultant for various firms, speaks at events, writes tech books, and runs a blog network on all things phone.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 15,599
Starting Page Number: 30
Article Number: 9406
Related Web Link(s):

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/uibook/fog0000000249.html
http://www.joelonsoftware.com/uibook/fog0000000249.html
http://www.accessdevnet.com/docs/zenofpalm/ZenTOC.html
http://tamspalm.tamoggemon.com/2006/04/19/designing-user-interfaces-review/
http://tamspalm.tamoggemon.com/2010/11/18/app-savvy-the-review/

Excerpt of article text...

A G4-based Apple laptop is the best testimony to the importance of user interface design - the machines were bought even at a time when their Intel-powered competition offered up to two times the CPU power.

The reason why users stuck to their Mac machines was their superior usability: Mac OS and its mobile derivative iOS are critically acclaimed for their excellent GUI design, which makes using the devices easy and thus pleasurable.

First thoughts

The value of good user interface design becomes clear the moment you think about why people use computers. Recreational users aside, the systems are used for but one thing: getting business tasks done and bringing revenue home.

Even though a single click takes but a fraction of a second, very small things can add up to a nice amount if their number is large enough. It thus is only logical that every reasonable effort should be expended to minimize the number of "taps" needed to get to the intended result. The user is using your app not for the pleasure of tapping, but to accomplish something.

Thus the first step involves deciding on what your app will do. Once this is done, it becomes necessary to think about the how—which steps will the user take, and in which sequence? Finally, the what and the how must be distilled into the actual user interface, which must then be implemented.

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