What makes an interface good?

Five different answers from five different roles

Ghyston
Ghyston

Everyone has their point of view - you can see how different these can be at the beginning of any digital project! As well as actual users, there are sponsors, content creators, subject matter experts, marketers and developers, each with unique opinions on what quality means. We thought it would be interesting to gather these points of view by asking ‘What makes an interface good?’ to all the key roles in a project team.

UX (my answer)

“An interface is a piece of technology between the user and the service. A good interface is one that removes all barriers between the user and the service, whilst creating no new barriers between the user and the technology.”

Designer

“I love an interface where the beauty is in the simplicity. You can tell that thought has gone into simplifying every part of the design so users aren’t bamboozled with everything they could have but instead what they need in the place they will need it. I am the kind of person who doesn’t want every option in one place, just the ones that are essential along the journey.”

Developer

"A good interface is one where the intuitive action is the right one. It’s where I have all of the information I need to make the actions I need, and no more. It’s one where the amount of information I need to make those actions is very small, small enough to be communicable by a quick scan of the screen."

QA Manager

"For me, an interface needs to be intuitive and therefore, simple and clear. It should be a natural fit to the user so that they can instinctively use it without any confusion or need for training. Like a Helter Skelter, it should give users a smooth and predictable path from A to B, with no lumps, bumps or nasty surprises on the way and an enjoyable journey to boot."

Project Manager

“A good interface is unsurprising. Things should do what they look like they’re supposed to do, and there should be clear feedback if you’re doing something wrong”

So there we have it. Five different views but with a fair amount of overlap - you may be able to tell that we collaborate a lot!

It is fair to say that we all want users to get what they want to do done, and there are common threads in these answers of Simplicity and Clarity. These two are always featured in my own aims and principles in any project – the trick being to define what simplicity and clarity actually mean for your specific service. Then again, maybe you have a different view to those above – and that’s great too. Without that difference, problems just wouldn’t be any fun to solve now, would they?

Ghyston
Ghyston

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