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Interfaces - Designing the Interfaces

Systems are designed for human beings to make their work simpler and faster. Hence interaction of any system with the human being should be an important area of concern for any system analyst. The analyst should be careful enough to design the human element of the system in such a manner that the end user finds the system friendly to work with. Interface design implies deciding upon the human computer interfaces. How the end user or the operator will interact with the system. It includes designing screens,menus, etc.


Basic Steps in system design
Fig 5.2 Basic Steps in system design

The following factors should be considered while working on interfaces.

  • Use of a consistent format for menu, command input, and data display.

  • Provide the user with visual and auditory feedback to ensure that two-way communication is established.

  • Provide undo or reversal functions.

  • Reduce the amount of information that must be memorized between actions.

  • Provide help facilities that are context sensitive.

  • Use simple action verbs or short verb phrases to name commands.

  • Display only that information that is relevant to the current context.

  • Produce meaningful error messages.

  • Use upper and lower case, indentation, and text grouping to aid in understanding.

  • Produce meaningful error messages.

Maintain consistency between information display and data input. The visual characteristics of the display (e.g., text size, color, and placement) should be carried over to the input domain.

Interaction should be flexible but also tuned to user's preferred mode of input.

Deactivate commands that are inappropriate in the context of current actions.

Provide help to assist with all input actions

Other Design Elements

See Also


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