User Interface Design Compromise: Taking the Good with the Bad (12 Dec 2004)
The key to any successful marriage is compromise. The same holds true for user interface (UI) design. After all, what else is the user interface but a marriage of form and function? Designing the UI is fundamentally an exercise in compromise – not compromise between designers and other project stakeholders (usability should never be sacrificed as a result of office politics) – but compromise between the drawbacks and benefits of functionality that accompanies each design. At its root, every design decision, from a single pixel to the information architecture, should be judiciously made through a careful consideration of what each design decision affords, and conversely costs, the users. It's the sometimes-subtle expense that many people often times overlook – and every UI decision has an expense. Educated compromise across every UI decision is essential to optimally designing the UI and is, ironically, required to avoid designing a compromised one.
Article URL: http://www-306.ibm.com/ibm/easy/eou_ext.nsf/publish/50?OpenDocument&../publish/1120/$File/paper1120.pdf
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