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About Ken Howe's GUI Standards
These series of articles are about standards for graphical user interface design (as the name suggests!). They come from years of developing user interfaces for countless applications and windows. Watching users interacting with applications, reading books on user interface design and reading articles such as the Microsoft Window 95 style guidelines. They also come from years of reviewing interfaces design by other people and pointing out simple mistakes that can really make a difference to the look and feel of the application.

The graphical user interface of your application will make or break the application. It is the only part of your application the users sees, the fact that you have brilliant code behind the scenes with a partitioned design and the fastest business objects are important to you but if the user cannot understand how to operate your application they are all for nothing. You can spend days designing some really slick new visual interface component but if the user does not even realise they can interact with it then you have wasted your time.

All these problems can be overcome with some simple rules and guidelines and by following the basic rules, make it simple, intuitive and consistent.

This series of tips is development tool independent, they apply equally well to PowerBuilder as to Visual Basic or any other tool that is used for developing graphical user interfaces.

 

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Ken Howe 2011