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GUI Journal » Process

GUI Design: Look and Feel

Designers often use the expression “Look and Feel,” but many think of it as a single concept. “Look” and “Feel” are two different things. Some years ago I had a conversation with a colleague at Novell®, when for the first time I gained a real appreciation for the different terms. I realized at that time that, though I knew the different concepts, I had not always kept the two ideas separate in my design process. Look and Feel work hand in hand, but concentrating on them separately and designing them independently from each other can ultimately result in a much better solution. LOOK “Look” basically involves everything that is visible, regardless of the purpose of the application or interface or any entity on the interface. Look includes graphics, icons, fonts, and colors. … Read entire article »

Filed under: GUI Design, Mistakes, Process

GUI Design: 1…2…3…Help!

In the 1980s when the advance of personal computers put software applications into the hands of administrative assistants, professionals, and students, “Help!” was quickly becoming the most common four-letter word in the English language. There was an obvious need for extensive and clear software manuals, because (for most of us) there was virtually no prior experience that would help us know how (or learn how) to navigate this new world at our fingertips. Desktops or bookcases near the computer usually contained multiple squatty, three-ring binders in thick cardboard sleeves with manuals for operating systems and desktop software. These were invaluable! But they were not always easy to understand and it was often difficult to find someone nearby who could help. These facts, along with the recognition that reading manuals was not always the … Read entire article »

Filed under: GUI Design, Help, Process