After presenting my pet project to some of my peers, I received some wise advice from a friend of mine; Michael Bjorn. I was asked to make this advice available for linking by a colleague so here goes…
Nice to finally see your web-shop that you have talked about before. I can just agree with all the previous feedback you have gotten so far but would like to highlight a few things when it comes to design. The following are just what I usually think of when it comes to user interface design
- · It should not depend solely on the attractiveness of the various elements
- · The more intuitive the UI is the easier it is to use and that also means less expensive to use in time
- · Be consistent, set a standard and stick to them
- · Put focus on navigation. Navigation between major UI items is important and done a lot
- · Make a responsive UI, if you believe that the UI is a little slow, not responding quick enough, well then the end user will most like think that the UI is very slow. The user does not want to wait
- · Use color appropriately
- · Expect the users to make mistakes and think about how to handle them, support them in not making any mistakes.
- · Group things effectively
- · Try to take an evolutionary approach J. Look at other applications/sites with a grain of salt.
- · Use metaphors, think about commonly used metaphors in Windows etc, a trashcan for delete, x for quit or close, ? for help etc. But think of this, are they always useful? When are they not useful? What advantages/drawbacks do they have? Do they help non-readers? What about people from other cultures, does the metaphors mean the same for them? Metaphors are very effective in UI if used correctly.
- · Use good looking Icons. But why use icons?
- * They conserve space on the screen, usually takes less space than text
- * Requires limited reading skills
- * They can be very aesthetically pleasing and provide direct access to the functions that they represent
- * They indicate what a specific choice will do in a specific part of the interaction, the user can predict the outcome of a specific icon choice
- * The user must interpret their meaning correctly, so they need to be designed carefully, always with the user in mind.
- * Icons also helps the user to quickly see what he/she is doing
I believe that you have captured a lot of this, even if you have not thought about it J. But if the web-shop is supposed to be serious ecommerce app then you should think about this some more when more functionality is added to the application. But a very good job so far, and I think it will evolve to a very good Silverlight web-shop in the end.