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authors Mullet, Kevin E. and Sano, Darrell K.
year 1994
title Applying Visual Design: Trade Secrets for Elegant Interfaces TUTORIALS
source Proceedings of ACM CHI'94 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 1994 v.2 pp. 353-354
summary This tutorial describes a number of fundamental techniques applied routinely in communication-oriented visual design. The orientation, process, training, and culture of the visual design disciplines (graphic design, industrial design, interior design, architecture) are essential components of effective interface design. Unfortunately, few software developers or human factors engineers receive any training in these disciplines. This tutorial describes important design rules and techniques internalized by every visual designer through coursework and studio experience. While mastery will indeed require extended practice, the techniques we describe are not difficult to understand and can be immediately applied to real-world problems. We draw our background, training, and influence from the rational, functional, information oriented perspective of the Modernist design ethic. Because all graphical user interfaces are communication systems, we believe their design should reflect these same values. Our tutorial is organized not along the traditional subdisciplines of color, typography, or ideation, but along the problems of graphical interface design as experienced in commercial software development. We describe basic design principles (the what and why), common errors, and practical techniques (the how) for each of the six major areas outlined below. (1) Elegance and Simplicity (2) Scale, Contrast and Proportion (3) Organization and Visual Structure (4) Module and Programme (5) Image and Representation (6) So What About Style?
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