There is this one professor who always impresses me in every class. Once, when a student asked him “Why do we need to know all the ‘Rules’ when all these just limit our creativity when Art is just creating by breaking the rules”. He simply answered, “When you don’t know what rule to break, then what can you really be breaking ? The ‘Art’ itself ?”. I think his reply is applicable to every creative field. I simply see ‘User Interface and Experience Design’ as a creative field.
The design rules and principles that we have studied in class are definitely meant to be followed but also to be broken when you are doing something useful for the people and innovative. As this wonderful class is coming near to a closure for this semester, I have compiled a list of rules that we have studied in this class and mentioned where it is meant to be used. It is upto you to use them or break them. I hope this post would serve everyone as a reference in the future and a guiding light for using the rules. The following are the few Principles that we use in User Interaction & Experience Design :
a. Jakob Nielsen’s 10 Web Usability Principles :
– They can be used in Web Interaction Design & Mobile Application Design.
– Some of the rules can be extended to Offline Application & Game Interface Design.
– More than everything, Nielsen’s principles are focused on Usability which should be followed while developing prototypes for any application.
b. Gestalt Principle for Screen Design :
– The principles are applicable to any Screen Design.
– Since, Gestalt Theory suggests the visual arrangements of the components on the scrren, though all the principles cannot be followed, the Gestalt Theory provides a visual grid / template and an idea for placing the components in any screen design.
c. Visual Information Principles by Edward Tuefte :
– The principles should definitely be followed when you about to convey your user some information or any form of data not just limited to numbers.
– Most importantly, when using mathematical charts and statistical data.
d. Principles of Alan Cooper :
– In Web, Mobile and Offline Application Design.
– Though, Alan Cooper tends to explain the usability principle mostly oriented towards Web Interaction Design. From my perspective, all those principle are general usability principles except a few strictly.
e. Information Foraging Theory :
– Though, not necessarily a rule. Information foraging theory should guide in designing an application where the user in search for some information and querying for some results.
– Remember – ‘Like every other being in this world, our User is also ‘Lazy’.
f. Universal Principles of Design by Lidwell, Holden and Butter :
– The Universal Principle of Design are general rules which are applicable to any kind or variety of design. They should give a good framework before beginning the design.
– Most importantly, these rules can be used for analyzing a mock-up design.
g. KISS (Keep it simple stupid) :
– As it says, just keep it simple.
and more than everything,
h. Common Sense :
– Use this in every context and part of the product design. You know what your product is going to do more than anyone. Don’t just follow your instincts, but also use your common sense.
The post is entirely about my views on using the principles and the way I am using them. I am just suggesting the ways in which the principles can be used. Let me know your views and what do you think about the posts in the comment section.
Image Courtesy : http://www.brandmill.com/featured/rule-break-stupid-rules/