Articles etc on interface structures

17 Dec 2008 - 6:02pm
5 years ago
3 replies
339 reads
Donna Maurer
2003

Hi guys

I'm writing some workshop material on high-level structures for
interfaces - explaining different high-level patterns that an interface
may use (e.g. linear, two/three panels, canvas plus tools, dashboards etc)

I always like to provide additional reading, but can't find any good
references for this material, except for the Tidwell book. Most pattern
libraries focus on much more granular combinations of components, not
the high-level structure.

Any ideas for articles or references? Otherwise I'm just gonna have to
write something up myself ;)

Donna

--
Donna Spencer - Maadmob
donna at maadmob.net
02 6255 4993 / 0409778693
http://maadmob.com.au/
http://www.rosenfeldmedia.com/books/cardsorting/

Comments

19 Dec 2008 - 11:27am
Chauncey Wilson
2007

The old book GUI Design for Dummies by Laura Arlov (I don' thave it in front
of me, so I might be off on Author/Title a bit) had an excellent section on
"GUI architectures" that discussed the GUI architectures of the 1990s like
MDI, SDI, task panel, hierarchy, wizard, CRUD, button panel, hub and spoke
design etc. That book was not for dummies, it had a good section on GUI
architectures and tied them to task and frequency of use which are two key
variables. Now we have Web User Interface architectures (WUIs).

The Yale Style Guide from earlier Web days had a discussion of various Web
Architectures and it put them on a scale of difficulty versus power.

There are hybrid architectures that you get from combining some of the basic
architectures.

Someof the architectures are amenable to a single type of object while
others can support multiple objects.

I've talked on this before and created a matrix of UI architectures against
key criteria.

Some of the Microsoft GUI Style guides have discussed this (When to use a
Tabbed architecture versus a panel architecture).

Another factor that comes up in discussion about high-level structures is
the underlying metaphor - for example, tabs imply random access so if you
have a tab structure, then putting required fields on a tab could be a
problem.

This is a topic that doesn't get much serious discussion. I'm going a
workshop for BostonCHI and will be including this as one topic.

HFI used to have a module in the GUI training that reviewed various
high-level UI structures and the conditions where you would use them (I
taught the course many years ago so I'm not sure if they still do), but it
was actually a popular part of the course since it looked at the high-level
first before getting into all the details of widget design. the point was
that if you picked the wrong UI architecture for a tasks (e.g., a wizard for
a tasks that is done many times a day) then the rest of your design could be
very good, but the product would still fail because of fundamental flaws.

Good topic.
Chauncey

On Wed, Dec 17, 2008 at 6:02 PM, Donna Spencer <donnam at maadmob.net> wrote:

> Hi guys
>
> I'm writing some workshop material on high-level structures for interfaces
> - explaining different high-level patterns that an interface may use (e.g.
> linear, two/three panels, canvas plus tools, dashboards etc)
>
> I always like to provide additional reading, but can't find any good
> references for this material, except for the Tidwell book. Most pattern
> libraries focus on much more granular combinations of components, not the
> high-level structure.
>
> Any ideas for articles or references? Otherwise I'm just gonna have to
> write something up myself ;)
>
> Donna
>
> --
> Donna Spencer - Maadmob
> donna at maadmob.net
> 02 6255 4993 / 0409778693
> http://maadmob.com.au/
> http://www.rosenfeldmedia.com/books/cardsorting/
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

22 Dec 2008 - 8:34pm
Helen Killingbeck
2005

Hi Chauncey, Donna:

I support Chauncey's statement that the topic of high-level structure is not
getting much serious discussion.

HFI has been including the various high level structures in their software
"Usability Central" (last version was 2007).

I still find the high-level structure is of importance, especially when I
see user interface components being reused in different contexts of use
(Call Centre vs. Front line branch tellers.

Helen

On Fri, Dec 19, 2008 at 11:27 AM, Chauncey Wilson <chauncey.wilson at gmail.com
> wrote:

> Another factor that comes up in discussion about high-level structures is
> the underlying metaphor - for example, tabs imply random access so if you
> have a tab structure, then putting required fields on a tab could be a
> problem.
>
> This is a topic that doesn't get much serious discussion. I'm going a
> workshop for BostonCHI and will be including this as one topic.
>
> HFI used to have a module in the GUI training that reviewed various
> high-level UI structures and the conditions where you would use them (I
> taught the course many years ago so I'm not sure if they still do), but it
> was actually a popular part of the course since it looked at the high-level
> first before getting into all the details of widget design. the point was
> that if you picked the wrong UI architecture for a tasks (e.g., a wizard
> for
> a tasks that is done many times a day) then the rest of your design could
> be
> very good, but the product would still fail because of fundamental flaws.
>
> Good topic.
> Chauncey
>
> On Wed, Dec 17, 2008 at 6:02 PM, Donna Spencer <donnam at maadmob.net> wrote:
>
> > Hi guys
> >
> > I'm writing some workshop material on high-level structures for
> interfaces
> > - explaining different high-level patterns that an interface may use
> (e.g.
> > linear, two/three panels, canvas plus tools, dashboards etc)
> >
> > I always like to provide additional reading, but can't find any good
> > references for this material, except for the Tidwell book. Most pattern
> > libraries focus on much more granular combinations of components, not the
> > high-level structure.
> >
> > Any ideas for articles or references? Otherwise I'm just gonna have to
> > write something up myself ;)
> >
> > Donna
> >
> > --
> > Donna Spencer - Maadmob
> > donna at maadmob.net
> > 02 6255 4993 / 0409778693
> > http://maadmob.com.au/
> > http://www.rosenfeldmedia.com/books/cardsorting/
> >
> > ________________________________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> > Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> > List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> > List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
> >
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> Unsubscribe ................ http://www.ixda.org/unsubscribe
> List Guidelines ............ http://www.ixda.org/guidelines
> List Help .................. http://www.ixda.org/help
>

22 Dec 2008 - 10:35pm
Dan Saffer
2003

These are also what Cooper calls Postures in the ABout Face books (if
I'm understanding this correctly).

<http://www.chi-sa.org.za/articles/posture.htm>

Dan

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