Department of Information Technology

Theoretical highlight 11: User Interface Design - Design Heuristics and Design Documentation

The purpose of this theoretical highlight is to describe a set of practical rules of thumb and tips for how to design a user interface, i.e. design heuristics. It will also cover some methods for documenting the design process.

Each section provides a brief summary. For more details see the pdf file included as a link at the end of each section.

bengts.gif Bengt Sandblad

Factors affecting the user interface design

Many different factors must be taken into account in the design of a user interface. This section briefly discusses some of the factors that are important in user interfaces for professional users in a work context. The discussion is equally relevant for the design of user interfaces for, e.g. the general public, automatic tellers and technical gadgets for home use, but you may end up with other solutions.

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Design heuristics

Design heuristics is a set of guidelines, rules of thumb and practical tips for how to design a good user interface. The below documents provide a brief summary of the rules and guidelines, but few descriptive examples. You should try to apply the rules and guidelines on some concrete design problems. If you have any questions regarding the application of the rules and guidelines, post them in the discussion forum.

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Design documentation

It is essential that the design process is documented properly. This section describes a method for documenting your design process, the Design Space Analysis and QOC method, and provides some brief examples.

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The above provides a brief overview of design heuristics and design documentation. In order to complete the picture you should read the literature and visit the links listed below. You should also participate in the discussion forum.

Required Reading

  • Benyon: Chap. 10, 18, 19 (Dix: Chap. 7)
  • The pdf's above


Design guidelines:

Updated  2013-03-19 14:56:18 by Magnus Larsson.