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Last week O’Reilly Media hosted an online webinar about effective user interfaces. The online seminar featured John McRee, User Experience Architect and author of the book, Effective UI: The Art of Building Great User Experience in Software.

Building Effective User Interfaces

Pulling key concepts from the book, the webinar sought to address the elements of successful user experience design as well as strategies for achieving the greatest results for desktop, web and mobile applications.

While the book outlines in greater detail how to build effective UI, planning, requirements and product architecture, the webinar reminded us of the over arching themes that drive user research, behavior analysis and implementation.

Whether you’re building a website, software or a building, sturdy, yet scalable architecture is needed. Yet, unlike buildings, the needs of software are constantly evolving. Designed to solve a problem, software aims to simplify the life of the user in a specific way.

From eCommerce to project and content management, designers and engineers must build upon the results of business planning and user research, provided they have been carried out. If not, there’s no time like the present.

A Few Things To Keep in Mind

The webinar shed new light on new and existing concepts. No matter how experienced you are within the field of UI and UX, many of the key points bear repeating time and again.

  • If you design your product for everybody, you'll end up designing for nobody. Know your end user and their environment.
  • In UI design, the less like your users you are, the more user research you will need.
  • Slowly shift paradigms over several releases, instead of it one big release.
  • Every $1 invested in an effective user interface has a return of $10 to $100.
  • Sometimes what is innovative, takes 2-3 familiar concepts & mashes them together.
  • Good UX is immersive, responsive and consistent across channels.

An archive of the June 17 webcast will be available via O’Reilly’s YouTube channel. As well you can order or download a copy of McRee’s book at my.safaribooksonline.com.