School of Information Systems

Principles of User Interface Design

User Interfaes are human-computer and are the focus if this chapter

System Interfaces are machine-machine and are dealt with as part of systems integration

The Principles of User Interface Design:

  1. Layout of the screen, form or report: The arrangement of items on the screen
  2. Content Awareness—how well the user understands the information contained
  3. Aesthetics—how well does it appeal to the user: Interfaces should be functional, inviting to use, and pleasing to the eye
  4. User Experience—is it easy to use?
  • Ease of learning
    1. Significant issue for inexperienced users
    2. Relevant to systems with a large user population
  • Ease of use
    1. Significant issue for expert users
    2. Most important in specialized systems
  • Ease of learning and use of use are related
    1. Complementary: lead to similar design decisions
    2. Conflicting: designer must choose whether to satisfy novices or experts
  • Consistency—refers to the similarity of presentation in different areas of the application
  • Minimal User Effort—Interfaces should be designed to minimize the effort needed to accomplish tasks
    A common rule is the three-clicks rule

    • Users should be able to go from main menu of a system to the information they want in no more than three mouse clicks


Alan Dennis, Barbara Haley Wixom and David Tegarden . (2015).Systems Analysis & Design, An Object-Oriented Approach with UML . 05 th Edition. John Wiley & Son, Inc.. Hoboken, NJ. ISBN: 9781118804674 .

Jennifer Alexandra