Fang Talks

Not finishing projects since 1994.

Isn’t that basically synonymous with UX (user experience) design? The graphical interface is what the user experiences, after all.

Recently I’ve started putting some more free time into serious progress towards HEL (Home Entertainment Library, working title). I’ve been drawing doodles of possible interface layouts for the games library for some time now, so that seemed like a good place to start. Opened up the least awful UI mockup tool I had on hand (Balsamiq is pretty nice) and got down to business. Since it was just a mockup, I had a decent looking thing standing in ten, maybe fifteen minutes? Then I started adding all the necessary controls…

Interface design is kind of okay once you’re still looking at the big picture, not taking into account all the controls and information you have to display. Once you start factoring those in though, prepare for quite the headache! I think it was a mistake to see it as a “broad to small” kind of process. I should’ve taken inventory of all the things I wanted on screen before doing anything, making sure to sort them into functionally similar groups. This would easily allow me to see “hey, this part of the interface has lots of information to display, maybe a narrow sidebar isn’t that good an idea”.

I like to think I’m starting to become a bit of an all-rounder, but the truth is, I haven’t even clawed my way out of the beginner tier in most disciplines!
~ Fang

Comments

  • 09/01/2015 (4:20 AM)

    Well hey you’re still learning so keep, well, learning. I don’t really know much about creating a GUI but for some reason I imagined it was a matter of programming different elements that do different things and deciding where they go.

    • 09/01/2015 (6:46 AM)

      It’s the “deciding where they go part” that’s the actual design (doh), and also happens to be rather hard. What do your users expect? Does the information flow smoothly from point A to B? Is everything clear and in logical locations? What do the user’s eyes get pulled to first?

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