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User Experience Toolkit

Match System Real World

Speak the user's language. Follow conventions that they are familiar with in both the online and real world.

Familar Metaphors

One of the strengths of the graphical user interface is that it leverages many real word metaphors: desktop, trash, files, folders etc. If users are familiar with these real world metaphors, it can make their transition to the online space easier. Some metaphors such as the floppy disk are slowly losing their effectiveness as time passes - and may soon be as unfamiliar as punchcards to a younger generation. Care should be taken not to use icons and metaphors unless their use adds value.

iconic icon set

Iconic icon set

Familar Language

"You will receive email updates." is much better than "You already are enrolled in the service that enables you to receive correspondence electronically". Remove unnecessary words and simplify as much as possible.

Familar Choices

The state dropdown below has more than 50 choices... and what exactly is the dividing line between northern and southern California? Make sure that the choices presented are unambiguous and understandable to users.

select state drop down

Sources/Further Reading:

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