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Interface design defies how the system will interact with external
entities. System interfaces are machine made and are dealt with as a part
of systems integration. User interfaces are human computer and are the
focus of this chapter. Principles of user interface design include layout,
content awareness, aesthetics, user experience, consistency, and user
The layout is the arrangement of items on the screen. Like items are
grouped into areas. Areas can be further subdivided and each area is self
contained. Areas should have a natural intuitive flow. Users from western
nations tend to read from left to right and top to bottom.
Content awareness applies to the interface in general, to each screen
to each area on a screen and to sub-areas as well. Include titles on all
interfaces. Menus should show where the user is and how the user got
there. All areas should be well defined, logically grouped together
and easily discernible visually.


Interfaces should be functional, inviting to use, and pleaseing to
the eye. Simple minimalist designs are generally better. White space is
important to provide seperation. Acceptable information density is
proportional to the user's expertise. Color and patters matter; don't use
red on blue.
Ease of learning is a signifigant issue for inexperienced users. It
is relevant to systems with a large user population. Ease of use is a
signifigant issue for expert users. It is most important in specialized
systems. Ease of learning and use of use are related. Complementary
lead to similar design decisions.
Consistency is extremely important concept in making the system
simple. It allows the users to predict what is going to happen. All parts
of the system work in the same way. Users learn how one portion works and
immediately apply it to others. Key areas of consistency are navigation
controls and terminology.


Interfaces should be designed to minimize the effort needed to
accomplish tasks. A common rule is the three clicks rule. Users should be
able to go from main menu of a system to the information they want in no
more than three mouse clicks.
User interface design processes examine use case and sequence
diagrams. They develop use scenarios hat describing commonly employed
patterns of actions. It may uncover additional requirements. Once a basic
set of use scenarios have been developed, the actual user interfaces are
designed. Designed interfaces are evaluated to determine if they are
satisfactory and how they can be improved.
Use scenarios outline the steps performed by users to accomplish
some part of their work. A use scenario is one path through an essential
use case. Presented in a simple narrative description. Document the most
common cases so interface designs will be easy to use for those

No lines are longer than 80 characters, TYVM. Other specified properties aren't being scored automatically at this time so this is not necessarily good news...