Skeuomorphic user interface design was first popularized by Apple, and then adopted by many other companies. Basically, this design approach relies on imitating the look and functionality of traditional and familiar objects to make the interface more intuitive. For example, using wooden bookshelf with book covers to represent digital content is a prime example of skeuomorphism at work. (more…)
The usability crisis is upon us, once again. We suspect most of you thought it was over. After all, HCI certainly understands how to make things usable, so the emphasis has shifted to more engaging topics, such as exciting new applications, new technological developments, and the challenges of social networks and ubiquitous connection and communication. Well you are wrong. (more…)
Direct manipulation was introduced by Ben Shneiderman in 1982 and is a style of Human Machine Interaction (HMI) design which features a natural representation of task objects and actions promoting the notion of people performing a task themselves (directly) not through an intermediary like a computer. Virtual Reality can be viewed as a field which can draw upon the principles of direct manipulation for Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) design or as an example or extension of direct manipulation itself. In VR, not only can task objects and actions be naturally represented, the task environment can be naturally represented as well. With either view, an understanding of direct manipulation principles is essential for the successful design of human computer interfaces in virtual environments. The remainder of this article will discuss the characteristics and benefits of direct manipulation along with its relation to virtual environments and the foundation areas of computer science. (more…)
By now, you’ve probably seen the navicon — an icon with three stacked lines representing a navigation drawer menu that can be shown or hidden.
The transformicons design concept — which We’ll talk about in just a bit — adds to the navicon by smoothly transitioning it to another icon after it’s clicked. (more…)
To code or not to code? For designers, that’s a very contentious question. Clients like designers who code because (among other reasons) that’s one less body on payroll. Design advocates, on the other hand, often see code as a technical limitation that stifles creativity. To make matters worse, the information ecologies we all work in refuse to stand still. By looking carefully at some of our favorite arguments, however – and by taking them within the context of our ever-evolving digital landscape – we can begin to make a case for when working in code makes sense.
Several years ago, Andrew Maier penned an article on the use of prototypes in website design and development. In light of my own recent work in prototyping, one of the comments to that article stood out:Any kind of prototype that involves programming or markup sounds scary to me –that’s the fastest route to a “developer-y” looking site rather than a truly designed –graphically as well as functionally designed –site. (more…)