Schneiderman’s Eight Golden Rules

Ben Schneiderman worked in Human-Computer Interaction and his research revealed these eight golden rules for interface design.

  1. Strive for consistency. Use familiar icons, colors, menu styles, calls to action, etc.
  2. Enable users to use shortcuts. Users who use your product often will inevitably understand it and no longer need directions on how to use it. They will start looking for ways to move through the interface quicker, provide them shortcuts.
  3. Offer informative feedback. Breadcrumbs and ripple effects on websites, ATM noises, haptic responses on phones/watches are examples of informative feedback.
  4. Design dialogue to yield closure. Thank you messages after purchase, Congratulations after sign-ups, these messages close the interaction for the user.
  5. Offer simple error handling. This reminds me of back in the day when forms were really hard to develop and if you filled one out incorrectly, you would lose all of your information when the page kicked you back. Simple error handling flags fields that may have been missed or filled out improperly.
  6. Permit easy reversal of actions. If the user feels comfortable that errors are reversible, they will explore more.
  7. Support internal locus of control. If your users explore more, they will feel more in control and ultimately trust your application or company more.
  8. Reduce short-term memory load. Human attention is limited. We are only able to remember five things at a time (give or take 2). Recognition is always easier than recalling something.

Deep Dive Resources:

This post is part of a series of quick informative lists I can refer back to when doing research or preparing presentations.

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