Overloaded vs Generic Commands

Overloaded vs. Generic Commands
Overloaded vs. Generic Commands

One way to manage interaction design complexity is to have commands serve double duty . There are two ways of doing this, with different usability implications:

  • Generic commands use the same command in different contexts to achieve conceptually the same outcome , even though details of the specific effects might differ.
  • Overloaded commands use variants of the same command to achieve different outcomes — sometimes depending on the context and other times depending on where the command appears on the screen.

I discussed generic commands in depth in an earlier article. The most famous generic command these days is the pinch-zoom gesture , which works in most touchscreen user interfaces. In...


Overloaded vs. Generic Commands | Auto-Forwarding Carousels, Accordions Annoy Users & Reduce Visibility

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