You are previewing User-Centered Design.

User-Centered Design

Cover of User-Centered Design by Travis Lowdermilk Published by O'Reilly Media, Inc.
  1. Dedication
  2. Special Upgrade Offer
  3. Preface
    1. Is This Book Right for Me?
    2. Conventions Used in This Book
    3. Using Code Examples
    4. Safari® Books Online
    5. How to Contact Us
    6. Acknowledgments
      1. People Who Helped Me Write This Book
      2. People Who Helped Me with Life
  4. 1. Our World Has Changed
  5. 2. What Is User-Centered Design?
    1. UCD Is Not Usability
    2. UCD Is Not Subjective
    3. UCD Is Not Just Design
    4. UCD Is Not a Waste of Time or Money
    5. UCD Is Not a Bug Report
    6. UCD Is Not a Distraction
  6. 3. Working with Users
    1. What If I Don’t Have Access to Users?
      1. Knowing When to Listen to Users and When to Not
    2. Dealing with Different Types of Users
      1. The Information Overloader
      2. The Control Freak
      3. The Devil’s Advocate
    3. Dealing with Negativity
  7. 4. Having a Plan
    1. How Do I Know Which Plan Is Right for Me?
    2. Creating a Team Mission Statement
    3. Defining Your Project
    4. Collecting User Requirements
    5. Creating Functional Requirements
    6. Documenting Data and Workflow Models
    7. Documenting Prototypes
    8. Reviewing Your Documentation
  8. 5. Creating a Personal Manifesto
    1. Exercising Restraint
    2. Building a Narrative
    3. Creating Personas
    4. Creating Scenarios
  9. 6. Creativity and User Experience
    1. Having User-Experience Goals
    2. Creativity Requires Courage and Hard Work
      1. Pick Up a Pencil
      2. Creative Freedom
      3. Understanding Your Goal
      4. Steal (I Mean Borrow) from Others
    3. Creativity Requires Questioning
  10. 7. Design Principles
    1. Principle of Proximity (Gestalt Principle)
    2. Visibility, Visual Feedback, and Visual Prominence
    3. Hierarchy
    4. Mental Models and Metaphors
      1. Progressive Disclosure
      2. Consistency
      3. Affordance and Constraints
      4. Confirmation
      5. Hick’s Law
      6. Fitt’s Law
  11. 8. Gathering Feedback
    1. How Many Users Will I Need?
    2. Surveys
    3. Conducting Interviews
    4. Task Analysis
    5. Heuristic Evaluation
    6. Storyboarding
    7. Using Prototypes
    8. A/B Testing
  12. 9. Usability Studies
    1. What Are Usability Studies?
    2. Creating a Testing Plan
      1. Introduction
      2. Reassurance
      3. Testing Guidelines
      4. Tasks
      5. Conclusion
      6. Thanks
    3. What You’ll Need
      1. Stopwatch
      2. Notepad
      3. Environment
      4. Spreadsheet or Database
      5. Cameras or Audio Recording
    4. Conducting the Study
    5. Don’t Hesitate to Practice
    6. Compiling Your Findings
  13. 10. You’re Never Finished
    1. It’s Impossible to Get It Right the First Time
    2. Be Prepared to Reboot
    3. Final Thoughts
  14. 11. Other Resources
    1. Twitter
    2. Tools for Prototyping
    3. Websites
  15. A. Sample Project Template
    1. Template
    2. Project Title
      1. Software Development Life Cycle Project Template
      2. Software Development Life Cycle Summary
      3. Project Details
      4. User Requirements
      5. Specifications Sheet (Functional Requirements)
      6. Data and Workflow Models
      7. Data Processes
      8. Prototypes
      9. Maintenance Notes
    3. Example Persona
      1. Dan Welks
    4. Sample Script for a Usability Study
      1. Introduction to Study
  16. B. References
    1.  
      1.  
  17. Index
  18. About the Author
  19. Colophon
  20. Special Upgrade Offer
  21. Copyright
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Chapter 7. Design Principles

“People ignore design that ignores people.”

Frank Chimero

Studying others’ work can inspire our creativity, but studying and understanding design principles will protect us from making mistakes. Design principles are the scientific laws of the usability world, much like the laws of gravity and relativity in the world of physics. Design principles are fairly constant and have been crafted over many years from the study of cognition and human behavior. They help us by providing guidance based on humans’ understanding and interpretations of their surroundings.

Having a good grasp of design principles and predictive models can help you effectively critique your work. It’s the perfect language to express what’s right or wrong with a design. Additionally, you can use these principles to educate your users, who often have a hard time expressing what they need. Help them find the right terminology by explaining the meaning of various design principles. It will give you both a common and correct language to work from.

It’s impossible to outline all of the usability principles in this book, since many of them go beyond the scope of our discussion. Consider this a high-level view of some of the most recognizable principles.

Principle of Proximity (Gestalt Principle)

The principle of proximity is one of many principles defined in the Gestalt principles of perception. While you should study all the Gestalt principles, I think the proximity principle has the greatest potential ...

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