Interface design

I see user interfaces as handles that allow users to have control over and gain information from the designs they are attached to. Interfaces exist of elements that together should make the interface understandable, consistent, intuitive and easy in use. Eventually this will lead to task completion, more efficiency and more satisfaction. I believe that order to design interfaces I have to keep several requirements in mind. These requirements are:

Clarity: Interface elements (e.g. buttons, actions and symbols) should be understandable for the user.
Purposeful: Interfaces should indicate what actions are preferred in order to complete a task by placing the interface elements in a strategic layout and using a form that creates attention. This also means giving the user less options to complete this task, because this can create confusion.
Context: Interfaces should have a close relation to the object that is controlled.
Intuitiveness: The use of familiar actions makes interfaces more understandable and allows the user to be able to predict the result of their choices.
Guidance: The user will rather do something when he is asked then when he has to figure it out himself/herself
Feedback: The use of feedback gives the user a sense of control and hereby confidence.
Easing: Breaking complex actions into smaller questions makes the overall action more organised, understandable and pleasant for the user.
Consistency: The use of consistent actions, layouts and feedback keep the interface understandable.
Default: Using anticipated and well considered default options to reduce the burden to complete a task for the user.

One issue I noticed in one of my previous semesters is a trade-off between what elements should be visible at what moment. Does the user have access to all elements at all times? Or does he first have to use several actions to get to a specific element? Both options create complexity in their own way: one by giving too many options at once and the other by making the user search for the right option.

Inspired by http://99designs.com/designer-blog/2014/01/15/7-unbreakable-laws-of-user-interface-design/ and http://www.usability.gov/what-and-why/user-interface-design.html

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