15 Jun 2005

Usability guidelines

A succesfull story about developping a usable'program:
Clean, Cutting-edge UI Design Cuts McAfee?s Support Calls by 90%
Those 20,000 downloads of ProtectionPilot over a 10-week time span generated only 170 calls to McAfee's support linesapproximately one-tenth the volume that the company would expect, according to McAfee software development manager David Ries.(...)

With every feature, you have to make a design decision. We tried to make reasonable and good assumptions about setting limits; we actively eliminated options, and then validated those options with the users.(...)

Too many developers confuse what is possible with what is needed, he says. Youve got UI products out there with 200 different settings; as a user, youre not sure what to touch. Its like sitting in the cockpit of a 747.(...)

Its difficult, because some users will always request more. I think you have to decide what you want the product to do, and take a stand. Among the products Ive used that dont work well, most made the assumption that if they gave me more options Id be happier.(...)

For example, the word abort means something to developers, but it doesnt fly with users, Ries says. If you ask the programmer if something makes sense in his product, he will say that of course it does.(...)

A list of interesting articles about usability:
Still about usability, what font is the most common font on any plateform? Font survey:

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