The Anti-Mac User Interface (Don Gentner and Jakob Nielsen)

The principle of aesthetic integrity states that the graphic design of the interface should be simple, clean, and consistent. Screens should be visually pleasant and easy to understand. Part of the need for aesthetic integrity derives from the limited expressiveness of current computers. If computers could communicate with a richer language, it would not be so important that everything have a «single look.» With networking, a person’s computer world extends beyond the bounds of his or her desktop machine. Just as a city designed by a single architect with a consistent visual appearance would

The Anti-Mac User Interface (Don Gentner and Jakob Nielsen)
Layered Interaction Analysis of Direct Manipulation (Jakob Nielsen)

For the specific alphabetic level error discussed here, it would probably be better, however, to redesign the lower levels of the dialogue. My suggestion would be either to allow an icon to be specified as the destination symbol for a command if there was more than 50% overlap between it and the icon being dragged, or to implement a «snap-to» attraction between destination icons and the cursor. The level of analysis presented in this paper is not sufficient to decide for sure whether one of these solutions to the icon trashing problem would be better than Payne’s solution. The protocol model

Layered Interaction Analysis of Direct Manipulation (Jakob Nielsen)
Assessing the Usability of a User Interface Standard

Given the potential future importance of usability standards, it seems reasonable to study the usability of the standards themselves to assess whether developers can actually apply the content of the documents. Not much research is available on this topic yet, but existing evidence does indicate the potential for «meta-usability problems» (usability problems in a usability document). Mosier and Smith [1986] report that only 58% of the users of a large collection of interface guidelines found the information they were looking for (an additional 36% «sometimes found it»). de Souza and Bevan

Assessing the Usability of a User Interface Standard



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