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We are starting to work toward a set of UI standards for our 'Web Based' applications. I use the term 'Web Based' specifically because most of our mission critical apps are not traditional thin-client but are what Microsoft refers to as 'Smart Clients'. For those of you not familiar with this type of app, they are essentially desktop apps deployed over the web with automatic updating and such built in. You can find out much more starting here.


With that in mind, the first path that one of my peers went down was the Microsoft Logo Standard. However, this doesn't really scale well to web apps in general. I thought about the Inductive User Interface, but that also leaves something to be desired.


My concern is that we lock into an 'Old-School' standard that will not allow us the flexibility to build truly intuitive user interfaces. It is well established that developers do a TERRIBLE job designing user interfaces. It is equally well established that developers will use UI standards as a justification for badly designed screens or navigation.


Ideally, I would love to develop a strong standard that provides solid guidance without stifling innovation. Anyone have any ideas?

Posted on Wednesday, May 25, 2005 5:42 PM | Back to top

Comments on this post: UI Standards

# re: UI Standards
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I think the inductive user interface guidelines over at MSDN, albeit being a bit outdated, are a useful starting point, just to get in the "mood". Then, forums such as are a great resource with insightful articles on the what (UI goals) and how (methods processes specs etc). Keep in mind, UI standards are not GUI standards, in other words, the less you focus on graphics (until an artist does the final polish at the end if desired), the more you can concentrate on ease of use, user productivity, graceful degradation, and so on...
Left by Phil on May 25, 2005 9:18 PM

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