Great UI - Introduction
In our world we interact with computers of all forms multiple times
every day. Texting with our mobiles, getting money from the ATM and most
of all: Using all the software on our computers at home and at work.
Inside these devices can be quite complex. Difficile. Intricate.
Today, Everybody is supposed to be able to use computers.
But then we haven't all have studied computer science, have we?
And we shouldn't have to.
In the early days, software was about to make some operation
possible at all. Printing something for yourself. Sending
some data over to someone else. But this is all commodity now.
Today, we really don't need some software to make commodity things
complicated. Furthermore, if done well, even complicated things
can become easy to do. Who would have thought in '95 that today
producing your own holiday DVD complete with soundtrack and nifty
menus could become so easy (I know, despite the fact, next to none
in '95 knew, what a DVD is)?
So, let's pay more attention on user interfaces that are intuitive,
easy to understand and enable us to do what we want and move on to
more important stuff.
Interface Hall of Shame
This is not my own work, but by the guys from Isys Information Architects.
I merely mirror their work, as - though it is a but outdated - it still
makes for some entertaining reading. I have put together more details
about this mirror on my page with notes on this mirror.
This is my blog on user interface design that I started in 2007.
In this I want to show good (seldomly) and bad (frequently)
examples of user interface design.
Unfortunately, as with many other blogs out there, I don't get around
to updating it as regularly as I would like.
Building Great User Interfaces is important for creating
software that is a joy to work with. This blog aims for
showing examples of good (seldomly) and bad (more often) UI design.
October 31st, 2010
When I started this blog in November 2007 on blogger.com, I
was hoping to update it much more often then I was actually able
to do it. This is certainly not because suddenly all software is
perfectly usable, but is a simple consequence from my lack of
I am currently consolidating my different web presences, and
while doing this, I decided to integrate the blog with my main
homepage right here.
March 5th, 2008
2001 must have been a busy year in Redmond. Apparently,
everyone at Microsoft had a lot to do: New features, new
products, you name it. In fact, they had so much to do that the
developers thought "how can we save some time at implementing
all the stuff we want to put into Internet Explorer 6?"
Introducing a strict rendering mode? Certainly a good idea, but
not much time to save there. Fixing old rendering bugs? Nah,
wasn’t part of the project map to begin with. But what about the
user options? Ah, we are getting closer.
January 25th, 2008
The cliché is well known: Apple makes great computers and
great software. Sleak, elegant, easy to use. And being a Mac fan
myself I have to say: the cliché is well deserved.
But let he who is without fault ... - even Apple sometimes
does it all wrong. Like with Leopard (MacOS X 10.5). Sure, its
all great. Time Machine is an eye opener in the world of backup,
the cover flow in the finder finally not only comes to par with
XP but actually overtakes is directly. All nice and dandy.
Problem is: Back in Cupertino they seem to like to redo
things from time to time just because they can.
December 5th, 2007
Since the days of the Interface Hall of Shame in 2000,
software has - mostly unexpectedly - evolved into something much
better than we used to encounter. The very big mistakes are
gone, the most annoying errors have been acknowledged and fixed
and you find really really bad software much less often than in
the late nineties.
However, things aren't perfect, yet. Problems have often
moved up one level from "ugly and unusable" to "not very well
thought out". As an example, I give you a screenshot from
Microsoft Word 2003.
November 9th, 2007
What is this blog about? Read more about it in this introduction.
Why this blog? Because I want to share insights (and
frustration) which I encounter during my work as an IT
manager. I work for DB Systel,
the ICT service provider for Deutsche Bahn AG,
the biggest railway company in Germany and one of the major global