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1.2.2. User Interface Design

Design in General

"Design is inherently creative and unpredictable. " (Shneiderman et al. 2005)
(1985) characterize design as following: Design is a process; it is not a state and it cannot be adequately represented statically. The design process is non-hierarchical; it is neither strictly bottom-up nor strictly top-down.
These characterisations of design convey the dynamic nature of the process.

GUI Design

An end user will never be able to read the designer's mind. What might seem an easy application for the designer team might be awkward and difficult to employ by the end user. (Marinilli 2002)

"When planning a UI, a designer should focus on the needs of the end users. It often happens, instead, that designers are too busy with citations from other cool, award-winning products that may result in a nightmarish implementation for the developer and a complete mystery for the end user. " (Marinilli 2002)

Product DesigningProduct Designing (Schnabel 2008)

Desktop Metaphor

The function of a Graphical User Interface is to facilitate the handling of an application by means of graphical elements. The design of today's graphical user interfaces often uses the so called "desktop metaphor".

"The desktop termmetaphor is a set of unifying concepts currently used in a number of graphical user interfaces in computer operating systems. The monitor of a computer represents the user's desktop upon which documents and folders of documents can be placed. A document can be opened into a window, which represents a paper copy of the document placed on the desktop." (Wikipedia)

Real DesktopReal Desktop (Wikipedia) Virtual Desktop (Desktop Metaphor)Virtual Desktop (Desktop Metaphor) (Wikipedia)

The desktop metaphor itself has been extended and stretched with various implementations. Today, we find trash cans on the desktop as well as disks and filing cabinets.

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