Lessons learnt from Apple HCI interface guidelines and how they can be applied to everything

Posted on Sep 20, 2013

Start Instantly. It’s best when users can begin using your app immediately.

When you make the most of this brief period by presenting useful content immediately, you pique the interest of new users and give all users a superior experience.

Focus on the needs of 80 percent of your users.

When you do this, most people won’t have to supply any settings, because the app is already set up to behave the way they expect. If there is functionality that only a few users might want—or that most users might want only once—leave it out.

Get as much information as possible from other sources.

If you can use any of the information people supply in built-in app or device settings, query the system for these values; don’t ask people to enter them again.

If you must ask for setup information, prompt people to enter it within your app.

Then, store this information as soon as possible (potentially, in your app’s settings). This way, people aren’t forced to switch to Settings before they get the chance to enjoy your app. If people need to make changes to this information later, they can go to the app’s settings at any time.

Delay a login requirement for as long as possible.

It’s best when users can navigate through much of your app and use some of its functionality without logging in. Users often abandon apps that force them to log in before they can do anything useful.

Save user data as soon as possible and as often as reasonable

Feedback Aids Understanding

Feedback helps users know what an app is doing, discover what they can do next, and understand the results of their actions. UIKit controls and views provide many kinds of feedback.

Inputting Information Should Be Easy

Inputting information takes time and attention, whether people tap controls or use the keyboard. When an app slows people down by asking for a lot of user input before anything useful happens, people can feel discouraged from using it.

People use your app to get things done or be entertained; they don’t want to feel as if they’re being forced to watch an advertisement. For the best user experience, you want to quietly remind users of the brand identity through your choice of font, color, and imagery.

Colour communicates, but not always in the way you intend.

Everyone sees color differently, and many cultures differ in how they assign meanings to colors. Spend time to research how your use of color might be perceived in other countries and cultures. As much as possible, you want to be sure that the colors in your app send the appropriate message.

Use terminology that you’re sure your users understand.

Use what you know about your users to determine whether the words and phrases you plan to use are appropriate. For example, technical jargon is rarely helpful in an app aimed at unsophisticated users, but in an app designed for technically savvy users, it might be appreciated.

Think like a newspaper editor, and watch out for redundant or unnecessary words.

When your UI text is short and direct, users can absorb it quickly and easily. Identify the most important information, express it concisely, and display it prominently so that people don’t have to read too many words to find what they’re looking for or to figure out what to do next.



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