Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Do more, Click less

Good user interface design is not all about the fanciful Photoshop effects and graphical eye candies; it is about designing systems that enable users to easily achieve their aim of interacting with your application.

The true functionality of an application is tied to its user interface. If you like, you could pack a trailer load of functions into your app, but it comes down to naught if your user interface makes it so difficult that your users can’t find them, or makes it problematic using them.

And this is why User interface design is such a big deal and why it [should] occupy the front seat while planning out an application. There are a whole lot of considerations that go into the making of a good user interfaces but in this post, I’ll just talk about one: number of user’s mouse clicks.

As a rule of thumb, a good and well designed user interface should have as minimal clicks as possible leading to the consumption of functions in the application. Meaning that, you should always strive to cut down on the number of clicks a user makes in other to get things done in your application.

In application usage, one of the units for measuring user’s action is the number of clicks, and the more clicks a user has to go through the higher the probability that there would be a reduction in the usability of the application.

Throwing hurdles of mouse clicks at users was never a good idea.

For example an application that takes users 3 mouse clicks to sign up on is far more efficient and usable than a latter that requires 5 mouse clicks. The mantra should be “do more with fewer clicks”

Looking at the Wordpress 2.7.1 release, one would find that amongst the changes that have been made to the user interface is the reduction in the number of clicks needed to publish a post from signing in.

In version 2.5, in other to publish a new blog post, you have this:

Making a total of 3 mouse clicks

While in the version 2.7.1, to get your post published, you have this:


Reducing the number of clicks down to two...Exactly what a good user interface strives to do.

As previously stated, a good user interface design should make interaction with the application as easy and smooth as possible, so when designing, do keep in mind that reducing the number of mouse clicks will go a long way in increasing the usability of your application.

No comments: