Radicle blog / Some notes on the WWDC 2017 video, Essential Design Principles

“At Apple, we often use the term human interface to describe what might otherwise be called user interface. [Using the word human recognizes the person’s] kindness, compassion, generosity, and goodness.”

“Designing an interface is fundamentally about serving other human beings. … The only thing that really matters is how your app satisfies the emotional and practical needs of the people you’re designing for.”

Mike Stern lists the human needs:

He adds: “Well designed apps should provide these things.”

“Well designed apps make it easy for people to predict the consequences that their actions will have. They feel stable. Solid. Trustworthy. They help people to make informed choices by providing information that’s clear and helpful. They have streamlined and simplified workflows, so that people can effectively and efficiently accomplish their tasks. And they should have an aesthetically pleasing, enjoyable, and even delightful experience.”

“[Design principles] serve as the foundation upon which great designs are built.”

Design principles

Wayfinding. Questions:

“Every screen in your app should answer these questions or else people will feel lost.”

I rather like this aside by Mike Stern: “The fact that we let people drive around two-ton metal objects is kind of ridiculous.”

Feedback. Kinds:

“Every action taken in your app should provide some form of confirmation feedback, because it’s absolutely necessary for letting people know the actions that they’ve performed were successful.”

Feedback questions:

Visibility: “The usability of a design is greatly improved when controls and information are clearly visible.”

Consistency: “Inconsistency undermines usability.”

Aside: Term of art: the sharrow: the icon depicting an action (an upwards arrow as though escaping a box).

Mental model: “Two parts to the mental model: the system model, interaction model.”

Proximity: “The distance between a control and the object that it affects.” The closer they are, the more we feel them to be connected.””

Grouping: “[Grouping] helps people understand the relationships between elements. It’s key to giving a design structure.”

Mapping: “Mapping is about designing controls to resemble the objects that they affect.”

Affordance: I am pleased to hear Mike Stern use the term accordingly as Don Norman has coined it.

Aside: let me start at the beginning. With wayfinding. I will become fluent in identifying and resolving this lowest hanging fruit of a problem, and at disseminating this understanding across the industry. When I am satisfied I have done enough, I’ll move the the next problem.

Progressive disclosure: “Progressive disclosure is a technique for managing complexity. [It] gradually eases people from the simple to the complex.” — “Discussions about how to properly use progressive disclosure often come down to the 80/20 rule.”

Symmetry: “Symmetrical forms are efficient forms, and we tend to associate them with good health, with stability, balance, and orderliness. And we consider them to be aesthetically pleasing. … Symmetrical elements, even if they are not physically connected to each other, are perceived as if they are.” — “Three kinds: bilateral, rotational, translational.”

I like Mike Stern’s statement that design principles are “fundamental truths about human perception and cognition.”

—Raphael Schindler
13 Jun 2017