Ben Shneiderman


Ben Shneiderman was born on August 21st in 1947 and is an American computer scientist. He came up with the "Eight golden rules of interface design". Below I am going to list and explain each rule.

1 Strive for consistency

Meaning that any GUI that is made should be made using the same terminology throughout with similar action sequences.

2 Enable frequent users to use shortcuts

Bit like on your home computer you have short cuts. So Ben is basically saying that every GUI should be designed to be fast and efficient not just in the terms of how quick the system runs in itself but how quick the user can get to the program/use the GUI.

3 Offer informative feedback

Ben suggests that for every action that the user can do there should be some sort of feedback to inform the user that what he/she doing is right or wrong, for example if the user tries changing a setting that might mess up the GUI/computer.

4 Walk users through more complicated tasks

Here ben is talking about more complicated tasks that users sometimes have to do, for example installing a computer program in windows where there would be step to step guide that would take you through the process.

5 Offer simple error handling

This would be needed as when a system is created not all problems are picked up on straight away so If an error is made, the system should be able to detect the error and offer simple help by the use of updates.

6 Permit easy reversal of actions

This is so that a user can undo something that he/she done wrong accidently or experimentally. This is a good thing to have as it will help keep the user at ease if they know that not everything has to be perfect, for example in photo shop if you accidently/experimentally do something wrong, you can undo it and re-try till you get it right.

7 Make the user feel in control

Here Ben is basically saying that the GUI should feel more personal by the use of letting a user control and not just responding to a situation, for example on an iPhone you can place the icons of an app anywhere you want and organize them into folders and do other customizing with them.

8 Keep it simple

Keeping it simple is a big part of GUIs as people have a limited short-term memory meaning if your GUI is not simple enough for everyone, everyone will not use the GUI.