[HIG] REVIEW: Introduction, Usability Principles

The scope and content of these two sections is generally good, although
it's very wordy.  My comments on this section are therefore largely
proof-reading ones.  I'm sure Pat will manage to reduce the word count
by about half when he gets a chance to go through it, but I've tried to
pre-empt him a little here...


- Four occurrences of "Gnome" in first two paragraphs; should be

- "These guidelines are meant to help you..." sounds a bit
non-commital!  Suggest "These guidelines will help you...", which is
also shorter.

- "Users (even advanced users) will be able to...":  If something's
important enough to include in a document, it's important enough not to
be in parentheses.  Suggest "Users of all levels will be able to..."

- "... won't cause confusion or making things harder": Typo, 'making' ->

Usability Priniciples

- "This section seeks to explain...":  suggest "This section

- "We believe that these principles are important for...":  this is the
only place in the document we talk about "we"-- we talk about "the
recommendations", not "our recommendations", etc.  Suggest this should
just read "These principles are important for..."

Design for People

- "There are a large number of professional interaction designers who
write books and teach courses on design methods which can help this
process (many of which are extremely useful)."  Wordy, use of "which"
instead of "that", and see previous comment about parentheses  :o) 
Suggest this sentence should read "Many professional interaction
designers write useful books and give courses on design methods which
can help this process."

- The reference to "useful books" suggests we need a bibliography, or at
least point to the current one on the GUP website.

- Perhaps each section in the Principles chapter should have a more
explicit, bulleted "See also" section at the end, rather than burying
the references in the text.  We also need a standard wording for calling
out references throughout the document, not just here.

Create a Match Between Your Application and the Real World

- Suggest this section is re-titled "Match Your Application to the Real

- "concepts which are familiar to the user": should be "concepts that
are familiar to the user"

- "The terms you use should be related to...": shorten to "Use terms
related to..."

Make Your Application Consistent

- "The purpose of consistency is to enable users to...":  shorten to
"Consistency enables users to...", and start next sentence with "It not

- "...recommendations in the GNOME HI Guidelines": use the full document
title, i.e. "GNOME Human Interface Guidelines"

- "...help you create applications which are consistent": should be
"that are consistent"

- "...this will serve to reduce users' trust": shorten to "this will
reduce users' trust"

- "...eliminate the Undo menu item": suggest "remove the Undo menu item"
is clearer.

Let Users Know What's Going On

- Suggest "Let Users Know What's Happening" might be a bit less twee 

- "It is critically important that...":  suggest shortening to "It is
critical that..."

- "If you display a determinate progress indicator...":  these are
currently called 'mesured progress indicators' in the feedback chapter;
we need to decide which we prefer.

- "...his or her task...":  Docs style guide says not to use this form;
forget off-hand what it prefers, just "his" I think.

- Add a link at the end to the Feedback chapter.

Keep It Simple and Pretty

- "In this vein, you should design your application...":  not a very
localisable phrase; suggest shortening to "Design your application..."

- "Every extra piece of information or extra interface element...":
suggest removing the second 'extra'

- Add a link at the end to the Layout and Appearance and Icons chapters

Let the User Be In Control

- Suggest renaming to "Put the User in Control"

- "modes should generally be avoided": 'mode' is a fairly technical
term, need to ensure this is in the glossary and highlighted here as

- "...(and specfically different windows)...":  again, the sentence is
at least as readable if you lose the parentheses here and replace them
with commas (IMHO)

Forgive the User

- "...making them worse than useless":  again, not sure how well this
would translate; suggest shortening to "making them useless"

- "...sacrosanct": I'd be surprised if all of our English-speaking
audience know what this means, let alone our non-native English-speaking
one :o)

Enable Direct Manipulation

- Suggest renaming to "Allow Direct Manipulation"; suggests it's more
than just flipping a switch somewhere :)

- "Wherever possible, you should allow...": suggest deleting "you
should", and possibly "Wherever possible"

-  Add a link at the end to the Mouse Interaction section of the User
Input chapter

CALUM BENSON, Usability Engineer       Sun Microsystems Ireland
mailto:calum benson ireland sun com    Desktop Engineering Group
http://www.sun.ie                      +353 1 819 9771

Any opinions are personal and not necessarily those of Sun Microsystems

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