Universal Principles of Design Pt II

14 80/20 Rule


Bring the controls that the User uses the most is closer and more easily accessible to the user. Identify the controls that the user will be using most of the time, and make sure those are the most accessible. Controls that are not normally used should be further away or inaccessible.



16 Accessibility


Image result for drinking fountain
This drinking fountain is more accessible to handicapped persons. It features a greater clearance that a wheelchair could fit under.



While doubling the ability to serve people, it also makes water accessible to people of different heights.

Accessabilty is an important aspect in many designs. To who it is accessible to is a serious question that a designer must consider. Both of these designs are good in their own way, but when compared to one another offer significant differences of advantage.

20 Aesthetic-Usability Effect

A blocky design that doesn’t look very simple.
While this offers the same or more features, it looks more simple and inviting.

Adding curves and colors helps to enhance the perception of a usable machine. Asthetics are as important as usability and options. If the machine offers the best selection of options and tools, but does not offer them in an asthetic manner, then the design will fail.


22 Affordance

Image result for website with large buttons
This website allows the user to use the website quickly and effectivly. It has a minimal design, and elements that are in predictable zones of placement. There are limited options available making it easier for the user to make decisions about what they want to accomplish, and how to do it.
This site has a lot of text, forms and small buttons. The user has to stop and understand what it is that they want to do on the website. This site doesn’t afford for quick decisions to the task they most desire to accomplish.

54 Confirmation

While the toggle switch is functional, the cover helps to prevent accidental activation. This is important in situations where activation of a function is situationally dependent and requires the user to be sure of what they are about to do.


56 Consistency

Image result for fruit flavors and their colors
Keeping colors consistent with particular fruit flavors, the user can predict what they are about to taste. There is a normal convention behind flavors and their associated colors. By keeping to this system, the user will feel less misled



60 Constraint


Image result for rotary encoder
Rotary Encoders offer no limits or constraints to twisting.



Potentiometers are limited by the range by which they can twist. When the user has reached the end of the twist, they know they cannot alter the system any further in this manner. A rotary dial would have been just as reasonable, but the system may not be able to accomodate all the potential values. The hardware constraint tells the user the specific limits of what can be done.


64 Control


A professional airplane control
airplane controls for an amateur

Scale the interface to the user’s experiance. If they understand, or have been trained to complete the task, then give them the controls that allow them to do the job. If the user is an amature and has no idea of the complexity of the craft, then give them simple controls.

68 Cost-Benefit


Image result for CJ jeep
The jeep is a cheaper vehicle that can go over many types of terrain. 
Image result for lamborghini
The Lamborghini is high cost, but useless on many Maine roads


These two vehicles offer different ways of traveling, but they are largely dependent on the environment you live in. If you lived in a city or lived in the Midwest, then the faster car would be the best alternative. If you had to survive falling into a pot hole, the jeep is by far the more cost-effective option. However if you lived in the midwest and had to travel a long distance, the jeep is less cost effective due to it’s gas consumption and physical design.

76 Desire Line

Absolutely useless circle. Russia
The designers wanted a nice aesthetic area. The users cut through The design should incorporate a paved walk space through two half circles, to allow for the preferred path of travel. Understanding the tendency of traffic to choose the easiest path, no matter how little difference it makes is helpful in these situations.


80 Entry Point

Grocery Stores usually push their customers through the produce area first as a form of marketing. By directing the customers through a  specific section of the store, the owners are suggesting to the user ideas of fresh, local, and healthy.


82 Errors

Car door alarms let the driver know that everything is not yet safe. Understand the typical behaviors of users, and where those may result in errors. Make sure to notify the user when an error happens. Allowing something to fail silently in the background is not helpful to a user unfamiliar with the system.


98 Fitts’ Law

This application groups menu groups together to make it easier and faster to access them. It also allows the user to move the controls to a spot they prefer, making it faster and easier to do work. Most designs group controls at the far left and top of the window. 


104 Forgiveness


These Tesla robots are designed with sensors to know when they run into something. They will automatically stop as a result.
This machine offers no forgivness and great caution must be exercised when operating it.

Understand where a user may make a mistake, and attempt to make accommodations for when the user completes the wrong task, or gets in the way of operation. This may require testing to discover common errors.



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