Minimalist UI Followup

A few quick follow-up thoughts on UI presentation strategies. I employ these in my development.

  1. The application interface should be designed so that user has a good idea what will happen when they take a certain action. Surprises are bad.
  2. Basic users should rarely need to go to the prefs. The best way to accomplish this is to create smart defaults for the way your application works. This requires having a vision for the app and thinking like the user, and making smart and consistent decisions.
  3. Having lots of preferences can be a bad thing, but it isn’t always. If you have an application designed for power users (like a text editor for programmers), they are likely to welcome additional preferences rather than be put off by them. Preferences should still be added judiciously, as they do add complexity to an application. In particular, each preference behavior now must be tested.

I should take the time to write up some formal notes when I get some roundtuit.