Post

6 Awesome Apps for UI Designers

designers-desk

All designers have their own workflow, and with it, their own set of software and apps they use to get things done. Personally, I love hearing about helpful new apps that will allow me to be more productive, organized, efficient or creative, so I thought I would share with you the 6 apps I can’t live without, and how I use them as an interface designer. More…

Post

5 Ways to Make a User Interface More Intuitive

Man Hard Hat

 

In the world of graphical user interface design, the word “intuitive” gets tossed around a lot. Many believe that an intuitive user interface is an impossibility, while others seem to use the term interchangeably with “user friendly” or “easy to use”. I fall outside of both camps. I believe that it is very possible to design a UI to be “intuitive”, and while it is a quality that may be intertwined with ease of use, I don’t think it is the same thing.

First off, it’s important to understand what “intuitive” means in terms of UI design. Webster’s defines it as: “based on or agreeing with what is known or understood without any proof or evidence”. Usually, when I hear an argument that intuitive user interface design is not possible, it’s supported by the suggestion that a person with absolutely no familiarity with any user interface, wouldn’t know how to operate a UI without some sort of instruction or help. There are two problems with this argument. First, unless an interface is being used by a member of an indigenous tribe of bush-people, or a time traveler from the middle-ages, the user will have some sort of previous experience with modern technology and UI. Secondly, and more poignantly, this argument applies to instinct rather than intuition. Instinct refers to the ability to do something naturally, or seemingly without thinking about it, like a reflex. Intuition is similar, but is based on previous experience or things learned. With this in mind, the concept of an intuitive user interface shouldn’t be hard to accept at all. So, how do we make sure our UI are intuitive for end users? Here I will detail five ways to make a user interface more intuitive, and show why I believe it is not only possible, but necessary to take this confusing and often misunderstood concept into account when creating any user interface. More…

Post

7 sure-fire ways to improve your automation system GUIs

Crestron-Smart-Graphics-Theme_iPhone-Hand_Mica-01Touchscreen user interface design is a very different beast than traditional, mouse-pointer operated UI/UX design. Moreover, within the realm of touchscreen UI design, creating interfaces for home and commercial automation systems presents its own unique set of challenges. In this article I will suggest several “rules of the road” to make the design process go more smoothly, and in turn improve your touchscreen-based automation system user interfaces. More…

Post

Crestron App – Why Portrait Orientation Should Be Avoided Altogether

ipad-hand-png

The Crestron App and other mobile applications for automation systems have been a serious game-changer for the entire systems integration industry.  They allow integrators to offer high-quality, wireless touchscreen control of their systems at a much lower cost than traditional, proprietary touch panels.  For this reason alone, they are hugely popular, and even programmers and firms that have tried to avoid adding them into their product mix, have been forced to do so out of popular demand.  However, the Crestron App does present integrators with a number of challenges that Crestron’s standard touch panels don’t.  One of these, is the ability of mobile devices to be rotated and viewed in both portrait and landscape orientation.  This means that programmers have to essentially create two versions of their touch panel project.  Fortunately, you can avoid this headache while also making things easier for your customers, by simply eliminating the option of portrait orientation from the get-go.  I’ll explain the advantages of programming for landscape only, and suggest some ways integrators can get the most out of landscape orientation. More…

Post

31 Free Glossy Button Streaming Media UI Icons

Media Provider Buttons
Glossy White Amulet Style Media Provider Buttons

We just added a new free download the website.  It’s another set of media provider icons, this time in a glossy, white amulet style.  They are very eye-catching and will add visual flair to any touchscreen UI project.  There are 31 icons in all, each with normal and pressed states.  We’ve also included a Photoshop file so you can add your own icons to the set.

Click here to visit our downloads page