User Interface Design

Written by Kimberly Clark
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The user interface is the part of an application that the user sees and interacts with. This interaction generally entails selecting a menu option or icon, with a click of the mouse. It also quite often involves typing information into certain fields.

Thus user interface design is the process of building controls and displays that make it easier for the user to perform functions in Windows and web-based applications. The user interface conceals users from all the coding that goes into the application. Therefore, the developer must design the user interface so that it is intuitive for the user to execute operations.

User Friendly

The primary purpose of the user interface is to liberate the user from having to remember complex programming commands. As a matter of fact, the chief objective in user interface design is user friendliness. An application is described as user-friendly if a user is instinctively and effortlessly able to perform functions from its user interface.

Of course the question then becomes, friendly for whom? As a result, an integral part of user interface design is gathering statistics about the skill set and behaviors of the users of the application. Another approach is designing the interface to appear and operate similar to other user interfaces that are familiar to the user.

Development Tools

There are several development tools available to developers to assist them in designing efficient user interfaces. These tools are available for designing user interfaces for various operating systems such as Windows, UNIX and Linux. There are also user interface design tools for specific applications.

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