Human Computer Interaction
Interface design focuses on methods that can be used in facilitating a smooth use and
interaction with produced items. The most common methods include placing controls in
locations that promote smooth and easy usage, reduction of the number of controls in addition to
offering users with constant feedback. The eight golden rules of interface design are a collection
of rules developed by Ben Shneiderman with an aim of improving the usability of computer
applications (Johnson 11). The eight golden rules of interface design are namely; strive for
consistency, enable frequent users to use shortcuts, offer informative feedback, design a dialogue
to yield closure, offer simple error handling, permit easy reversal of actions, support internal
locus of control and reduce short-term memory load (Johnson 11).
The first rule, strive for consistency, means that the same design patterns and action
sequences should be employed for similar situations. That is, access to similar actions should
involve similar ways, use of a consistent structure for messaging, similar colors, terminology and
typography among others. Commands should also be consistent throughout the use of similar
items. Frequent users of particular applications or devices often desire to minimize the number of
steps in accomplishing certain objectives. The second rule therefore emphasizes the need to
increase the pace of interaction through the creation of shortcuts (Johnson 11). Important tools
that facilitate increased pace of interaction include macro facilities, hidden commands, and
abbreviations and function keys.
Users need to be aware of the processes at every step of the device or application use.
Offering informative feedback is very essential in letting users to know what happens at every
instant of their use of the device or application. Rule three therefore emphasizes the need for
designers to offer users with system feedback (Johnson 11). The depth of detail of the feedback
should be relative to frequency and impact of the action. Action sequences in applications and
devices should signal the beginning and end of a process. Once a process, the user should be
provided with clear options for proceeding steps if necessary. Rule four emphasizes the need for
the user to be easily led through each action. Applications should also be designed in a manner
that prevents users from making major errors. Rule five requires that devices and applications
should be designed such that the system can easily detect errors and handle them in a simple
manner (Johnson 11). The applications should therefore have inbuilt automatic or manual
recovery in case an error occurs.
The interface of a device or application should allow the user to stop erroneous actions
once started as well as undo errors once executed. The availability of a reversal mechanism
encourages users to explore unfamiliar options related to the use of the application or device.
Rule six emphasizes the need t...