Interface Design

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User interface design or UI design generally refers to the visual layout of the elements that a user might interact with a website, or technological product. This could be the control buttons of a radio, or the visual layout of a webpage. User interface designs must not only be attractive to potential users, but must also be functional and created with users in mind.
Why is user interface design important for usability?
User interface design can dramatically affect the usability and user experience of an application. If a user interface design is too complex or not adapted to targeted users, the user may not be able to find the information or service they are looking for. In website design, this can affect conversion rates. The layout of a user interface design should also be clearly set out for users so that elements can be found in a logical position by the user.

The software becomes more popular if its user interface is:
•Simple to use
•Responsive in short time
•Clear to understand
•Consistent on all interfacing screens

UI is broadly divided into two categories:
•Command Line Interface: CLI has been a great tool of interaction with computers until the video display monitors came into existence. CLI is first choice of many technical users and programmers. CLI is minimum interface software can provide to its users.
•Graphical User Interface: Graphical User Interface provides the user graphical means to interact with the system. GUI can be a combination of both hardware and software. Using GUI, user interprets the software.

User Interface Golden rules
The following rules are mentioned to be the golden rules for GUI design:
•Strive for consistency - Consistent sequences of actions should be required in similar situations. Identical terminology should be used in prompts, menus, and help screens. Consistent commands should be employed throughout. •Enable frequent users to use short-cuts - The user’s desire to reduce the number of interactions increases with the frequency of use. Abbreviations, function keys, hidden commands, and macro facilities are very helpful to an expert user.
•Offer informative feedback - For every operator action, there should be some system feedback. For frequent and minor actions, the response must be modest, while for infrequent and major actions, the response must be more substantial.
•Design dialog to yield closure - Sequences of actions should be organized into groups with a beginning, middle, and end. The informative feedback at the completion of a group of actions gives the operators the satisfaction of accomplishment, a sense of relief, the signal to drop contingency plans and options from their minds, and this indicates that the way ahead is clear to prepare for the next group of actions.
•Offer simple error handling - As much as possible, design the system so the user will not make a serious error. If an error is made, the system should be able to detect it and offer simple, comprehensible mechanisms for handling the error.
•Permit easy reversal of actions - This feature relieves anxiety, since the user knows that errors can be undone. Easy reversal of actions encourages exploration of unfamiliar options. The units of reversibility may be a single action, a data entry, or a complete group of actions.
•Support internal locus of control - Experienced operators strongly desire the sense that they are in charge of the system and that the system responds to their actions. Design the system to make users the initiators of actions rather than the responders.
•Reduce short-term memory load - The limitation of human information processing in short-term memory requires the displays to be kept simple, multiple page displays be consolidated, window-motion frequency be reduced, and sufficient training time be allotted for codes, mnemonics, and sequences of actions.
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