Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 11th Nov 2007 15:52 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces This is the fifth article in a series on common usability and graphical user interface related terms [part I | part II | part III | part IV]. On the internet, and especially in forum discussions like we all have here on OSNews, it is almost certain that in any given discussion, someone will most likely bring up usability and GUI related terms - things like spatial memory, widgets, consistency, Fitts' Law, and more. The aim of this series is to explain these terms, learn something about their origins, and finally rate their importance in the field of usability and (graphical) user interface design. In part V, we focus on modes.
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Interesting series of articles - as someone with a background in media design, it's nice to see some discussion of usability that's a little more academic than the usual "I may not know usability - but I know what I like/hate!"

An excellent book on the subject is The Psychology of Everyday Things by Donald Norman. The edition I read was fairly old (early 80s) and barely mentions computer interfaces - but that's also helpful in dispelling the common notion that usability applies only to computers (E.g., the first chapter is largely about the usability of doors - in terms how easy/difficult it is to figure out if a door needs to be pushed or pulled open).

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