Fundamentals of Designing User Interaction - Getting Started

Checklist for a Good Interface

The following checklist summarizes the information in the previous section and in this book. Use it to help you confirm that your application is designed to provide the best user experience:

  • Your application installs easily in a minimum number of steps.
  • Your application installation does not require the system to restart.
  • Users do not have to read a Readme file before using your application.
  • User-generated data files are stored by default in the My Documents folder.
  • Your application avoids cryptic file names that are visible to users.
  • Your application does not create folders outside of the Program Files folder.
  • Your application does not write files to the root of the hard disk.
  • If your application uses a disk cache, it also registers with the Disk Cleanup utility.
  • Your application does not include entries to its Help, Readme, and Uninstall files on the Start menu.
  • Your application does not install icons to the Windows desktop without the user's permission.
  • If your application is run at startup, it loads without displaying splash screens and dialog boxes.
  • Your application does not use the taskbar notification area for status, for launching applications or utilities, or for querying properties. It uses the notification area only to alert the user of an important change.
  • Your application appropriately applies the color choices the user selected in Display properties in Control Panel.
  • Your application is keyboard accessible.
  • Your application works correctly if the user increases the size of the default font.
  • Your application supports the standard set of keyboard shortcuts, where applicable.
  • Your application's uninstall process leaves no remaining files or registry entries other than files created by the user.
  • Your application does not use jargon in its user interface text. Use industry-specific or technical terms only if they are clearly understood by the user.
  • Your application adjusts appropriately when the user changes the display resolution as well as for multiple-monitor configurations.

Fundamentals of Designing User Interaction

Windows Interface Components

Design Specifications and Guidelines

Appendixes and References