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Ben Shneiderman eight golden rules of interface design (Human Computer Interaction)

The 'Shneiderman's Eight Golden Rules' are a set of design guidelines put forth by University of Maryland computer scientist Ben Shneiderman. These recommendations are meant to help designers create user interfaces that are both efficient and pleasant to use. Shneiderman's Eight Golden Rules, which were developed to enhance user experience and the general usability of interactive systems, offer helpful guidance to designers who want to produce user interfaces that are clear and effective.

The Eight rules are:

  1. Strive for Consistency.
  2. Seek Universal Usability.
  3. Offer Informative feedback.
  4. Design Dialogs to yield closure.
  5. Prevent Errors.
  6. Permit easy reversal of actions.
  7. Support internal locus of control.
  8. Reduce short term memory load

1. Strive for consistency:

Achieving consistency in a software can be accomplished by making sure that elements like fonts, colors, shapes, and positions are always the same across all menus and screens throughout all categories.Our series of actions needs to take place in a comparable circumstance.All prompts, menus, screens, capitalization, typefaces, and layouts must use the same terminology consistently.

It should be possible for users to perform the same action in the same manner as before.

Learning is facilitated by consistency, such as repeated action sequences in comparable circumstances. When it comes to commands and passwords echoing, there ought to be a few exceptions.

Example: suppose the login button is positioned in the center of the bottom of screen 2 and on the left bottom of screen 1. Positional inconsistency results from this, which is not a recommended practice.

2. Seek Universal Usability:

It is imperative to acknowledge the needs of heterogeneous consumers to enable the change of material. Make careful to consider a variety of audiences when developing, including those with varying levels of experience, ages, disabilities, and global variances. There are three categories for users: novice, intermediate, and expert. Experts typically employ fewer actions more quickly. The introduction of shortcuts to facilitate user interaction and a quicker pace. Interfaces must accommodate users of various skill levels.

3. Offer Informative feedback:

Every user action should be accompanied by appropriate feedback. The response may be small for activities that occur frequently while it may be significant for actions that occur infrequently.

In addition to being communicative, interfaces must aid users in learning and provide them with feedback that indicates they are headed in the correct direction.

Feedback should be provided for each action taken by the user in order to promote positive interaction.

Unless a user receives criticism. The user is not sure if what they are doing is correct.

4. Design Dialogs to yield closure:

There needs to be a clear division of the actions into beginning, middle, and end phases.

When a set of actions is finished, the user receives feedback, which helps them feel relieved and ready for the next set of actions.

A closing in interaction discourse is necessary so that the user knows that the action has ended.

The series of steps must engage the user in a step-by-step discourse as they advance.

Like how each enclosing bracket in a mathematical equation requires a matching closing bracket. There must be a final action in even the subsequence of actions.

Example: Let's look at an example of an e-commerce website that gives consumers precise information at every stage of the process-from choosing a product to checking out.

5. Prevent Errors:

Make sure that the user interface is as easy to use as you can. such that the user doesn't make any significant mistakes.

Errors can be made by users when interacting with computers, entering data, or interpreting it.

When a user makes a mistake, the interface ought to provide clear, helpful, and detailed guidance on how to fix it.

For instance, if a user fills out a form and enters an incorrect pin number or captcha, he should be routed to correct that one mistake only; all other information should be stored and need not be re-entered.

6. Permit easy reversal of actions:

It is necessary to design the interactions in a way that allows users to go back and explore other possibilities by allowing them to retrace or reverse actions.

Verify that the activities are as reversible as possible. to assist the user explore new alternatives and reduce anxiety because the user is aware that mistakes can be corrected.

The goal of the system should be to promote exploration without making users feel anxious in any way.

Providing a traceable path backward of all actons is one method to achieve this.

Reversibility can apply to a single action, like entering data, or to a series of actions, such entering a person's name and address.

7. Support internal locus of control:

Permit users to feel in control of the system and circumstances at all times. Remind the user that they are in charge.

It is important for users to feel in charge of the system, not the other way around.

It should never be possible for users to get lost.

Expert users find it objectionable. If the UI is updated with any new functionality, users may find it awkward and unfamiliar.

Users become irritated when familiar behavior changes and are unable to achieve the intended outcome.

8. Reduce short term memory load:

Humans can only process a limited amount of information in their short-term memory.

The layout of the interface must prevent users from being overloaded with information by not requiring them to memorize large amounts of data, such as information from one display that they can subsequently use on another.

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