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Usability in design

Usability in the design creation - convenience and ease of use - the ability of the digital product to be intuitively understood, studied and used. This includes attractiveness to the user under specified conditions (ISO / IEC 25010); the attribute of a system, product or service, in which a particular user can operate the system under certain conditions to achieve specified goals with the required efficiency and satisfaction (ISO 9241-210).

Usability in mobile and web software development is a result of the software design stage, which provides users with convenient facilities for app interaction, software or websites.

Good usability requires that:

  • A website has a decent layout, is easy to navigate, consistent across all web pages, and useful and informative to visitors;
  • An app should be bitsize and clear; content should be readable on different screen sizes, all the buttons and links are easy to use without rub contact. The intuitive design accompanies the features, while the main functions are obvious and easily available to users.

There are two main ways to assess the usability of the product:

  • Direct evaluation based on the analysis of the efficiency and satisfaction achieved, as a result of product operation in real conditions: if in the above conditions one system is more ergonomic than the other, then the evaluation should detect this;
  • Indirect evaluation based on the analysis of individual sub characteristics that reflect certain properties of the system in the specified operating conditions.

Direct evaluation is considered in the ISO 9241-11 standard, which assumes that the ergonomics of the system depends on all indicators affecting the operation of the system in real conditions, including both organizational indicators (for example, labor skills, location or appearance of products), and individual differences between users, for example, in the cultural level and preferences.

Indirect evaluation is considered in ISO / IEC 25010, which describes the following usability characteristics:

  • Appropriateness recognizability: an ability of the user to understand whether the product or system is suitable for his or her needs, based on initial impressions, documentation and other information provided;
  • Learnability: a degree of effectiveness, productivity and user satisfaction by learning how to use the system;
  • Operability (controllability): ensuring the ease of management and control;
  • User error protection: a degree to which the system protects the user against errors;
  • User interface aesthetics: a degree to which the user interface satisfies the user and gives him pleasure from the interaction process;
  • Accessibility: an ability to use a product or system by a wide range of people with a wide variety of opportunities ((including limited).

The best way to estimate the usability of the existing or new software is to implement the usability testing, inviting the real users to do the set of standard procedures as a test.

Additional Terms
Character User Interface (CUI)
Character User Interface (CUI) is a kind of user interface that uses only alphanumeric characters and pseudographics for input-output and presentation of information. It is characterized by a low demand for I/O hardware resources (in particular, memory) and high information display speed. CUI appeared at one of the initial stages of computer technology development. The disadvantage of this type of interface is the limited visual media, due to the restricted number of characters included in the font provided by the equipment. Programs with a text interface can implement a window interface, which is particularly facilitated by the use of pseudo-graphic symbols. CUI Features In the simplest mode, the character interface uses only the command-line, but many programs use interactive elements to create a more user-friendly visualisation. The character interface implements all the basic elements - menus, buttons, switches, checkboxes, drop-down lists, scroll bars and so on. Many programs implemented a well-developed window system, which was facilitated by libraries like CScape, D-Flat, Turbo Vision and many others. Some had interchangeable themes (for example, DOS Navigator) and supported various interactive devices such as a mouse, joystick, light pen. At the software level, console programs use standard input-output devices (stdin, stdout, stderr) to enter and display information, although they can open other files, network connections and perform other actions available in the operating environment. Displaying printed characters in stdout and stderr results in the appearance of these characters on the output device and their receipt by the user. Console programs for some operating systems, especially UNIX, are usually able to work on an advanced user interface functionality. To simplify the writing of such programs, the ncurses library is widely used.
>> Graphical User Interface (GUI)
Graphical User Interface (GUI) is a kind of user interface in which elements (menus, buttons, icons, lists, etc.) presented to the user on the display, are executed in the form of graphic images. In the GUI, the user has random access (through input devices such as a keyboard, mouse, joystick, etc.) to all visible display objects (interface elements) and directly manipulates them. Most often, GUI interface elements are implemented on the basis of metaphors, and display their purpose and properties, which facilitates the understanding and mastering of programs by untrained users. The graphical user interface is part of the user interface (UI) and defines interaction with the user at the level of visualized information. Classification Simple: typical screen forms and standard interface elements provided by the subsystem of the GUI; True-graphic, two-dimensional: non-standard interface elements and original metaphors realized by the app's own tools or by a third-party library; Three-dimensional. DWIM One of the requirements for a good graphical interface of the software application is the concept of "Do What I Mean". DWIM requires that the system works in a predictable way so that the user intuitively knows in advance what action the program will perform after receiving the command. Advantages The graphical interface is user-friendly, especially for people who’ve used other apps. Usually, the users can easily find in the interfaces similarities with other programs, working on the same operational platform, like the hamburger icon for mobile app menus on smartphones or the printer sign for printing documents. Disadvantages Greater memory consumption compared with the text interface; It is more difficult to organize remote work; Automation must be integrated in the structure of the DWIM at the pre-development stage. In other cases, quite often it’s easy to develop a new app instead of adding such features to the existing system, as automation is impossible for the current structure. The graphical interface is not always "friendly" for users who have begun to familiarize themselves with the computer from the command line interface. Examples of systems using the GUI: Mac OS, Android, iOS, Microsoft Windows, GNU / Linux, GEM, Solaris,  Atari TOS, BeOS, MeeGo.
>> User Inteface (UI)
User Interface (UI) - an interface that provides the information transfer between a human user and the hardware/software components of a computer system. User interface combines all the elements and components of the program, which can simplify the interaction of the user with the software. These elements include: Means for displaying information, formats and codes; Command modes, user interface language; Devices and technologies for data entry; Dialogs, interaction and transactions between the user and the computer; Feedback from the user; Support for decision-making in a specific subject area; The program using procedure and the documentation for it. UI defines how commands are given to a program or computer and how information is displayed on the screen. Three main UI types are: Command language: the user must know the instructions or the code of the machine and the specific program. Menus: the user selects the command from the list that is displayed on the screen. Graphical user interface (GUI): the user gives commands by selecting and clicking on the icon shown on the screen. Methods There are a set of rules laid down by the developer of the device, which enables smooth transition between action and response: a combination of inputs by the user should lead to the necessary responses of the device and task. The designers work out the user interfaces for each of the screens within the software or application. These rules should be sufficiently clear for understanding, natural and easy to remember (all this is included in the concept of usability). User Interface Design Basics User Interface (UI) Design focuses on the users needs, ensuring that the interface has elements that are easy to access facilitate actions. UI brings together concepts from interaction design, visual design, and information architecture. Choosing Interface Elements Users have become familiar with some common interface elements, declared as the standard visualisation by operating system standards - iOS and Android.  The designers of user dashboards should be consistent and predictable in choosing the existing elements. Doing so will help gain the user’s satisfaction by providing clear and convenient interface. Interface elements include but are not limited to: Input Controls: buttons, text fields, checkboxes, radio buttons, dropdown lists, list boxes, toggles, date field Navigational Components: breadcrumb, slider, search field, pagination, slider, tags, icons Informational Components: tooltips, icons, progress bar, notifications, message boxes, modal windows Containers: accordion The simple and well balanced combination of all elements, joined as an attractive visual solution for the software interface can be a good example of user-friendly interface design.
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Additional Terms of Usability
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.Net Framework
The .NET Framework is a software platform released by Microsoft in 2002. The platform is based on the Common Language Runtime (CLR), which is suitable for different programming languages. The CLR functionality is available in any programming language using this environment. The main idea in developing the .NET framework was to ensure developer freedom by allowing to create applications of various types that can run on different devices and in various environments. Main features The .NET framework provides a powerful platform for building apps. Its main features include: Multi-language support. The platform is based on the Common Language Runtime (CLR), thanks to which .NET supports several languages: along with C #, VB.NET, C ++, F #, and various dialects of other languages associated with .NET, such as Delphi. NET. During the process of compiling, the code in any of these languages is assembled in a common language CIL (Common Intermediate Language) - a kind of assembler of the .NET platform. Therefore, we can make separate modules of one application in separate semantics. Cross platform .NET is a portable platform (with some restrictions). For example, the latest version of the platform at the moment. NET Framework is supported on most modern Windows OS (Windows 10 / 8.1 / 8/7 / Vista). And thanks to the Mono project, you can create apps that will work on other Linux operating systems, including Android and iOS mobile platforms. Powerful class library. .NET provides a single class library for all supported languages. And whatever application we want to write on C # - a text editor, a chat, or a complex website - one way or another, we will use the .NET class library. A variety of technologies. The common language runtime and the base class library are the basis for a whole stack of technologies that developers can use to build certain applications. For example, ADO.NET technology is designed to work with databases in this technology stack. For building graphical applications with rich interface - WPF technology. For creating websites - ASP.NET, etc. Another noteworthy feature of the .NET framework is automatic garbage collection. And this means that in most cases programmers don’t have to worry about free memory. This CLR itself will call the garbage collector and clear the memory.
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AJAX
is an abbreviation of Asynchronous Javascript and XML. This is a technology to access the server without reloading the page. Which means pressure decrease  on the data transmitting channels. Due to this, response time is reduced and a web app interacts more like a desktop one. Despite the fact that the name of the technology contains the letter X (from the word XML), it is not necessary to use XML. By AJAX, we mean any communication with the server without reloading the page, organized using JavaScript. AJAX Advantages Ability to create a convenient web-interface Active user interaction Partial page reload, instead of full The convenience of use AJAX uses two methods of working with a web page: changing it without reloading it, and dynamically accessing the server. What can we do with AJAX? Interface elements First of all, AJAX is useful for forms and buttons associated with elementary actions: add to cart, subscribe, fulfil some data in the contact form, etc. Such actions on the sites are carried out without reloading the page. Live Search Live search is a classic AJAX use case, adopted by modern search engines. A user starts typing a search phrase, and JavaScript offers possible options, getting a list of the most likely additions from the server. How the System Works AJAX technology includes the following steps: A user accesses AJAX; most often this happens by pressing a button, requesting to learn more detailed information. The service forwards the request to the server along with the associated data. For example, you may need to download some file or specific information from the database. After receiving the response from the database, the server sends it to the browser. JavaScript receives the response, decrypts and shows it to the user. An XMLHttpRequest object is created for data exchange; it performs an intermediary function between the server and the browser. There are two types of requests - GET and POST. GET refers to a document on the server, the web resource’s URL is provided as an argument. You can use the JavaScript Escape feature to ensure query continuity. POST is used for large amounts of data and provide better security level. With POST the user’s data is transferred in the cryptographed way, with GET request all information, including the personal name and passwords, is transferred openly, directly in the body of the request code.
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Graphic Design
Graphic design is a process aimed at creating visual graphics for the problem-solving through the use of illustration, typography, and photography. As a discipline graphic design in part focuses on visual communication and presentation. A designer can work with visual arts, typographic design, and page layout techniques. Sections Graphic design can be classified by types of tasks: Calligraphy, fonts, book design. Corporate identity, including brand names and logos. Visual communications, including orientation systems (navigation and other icons). Poster products, including advertising posters. Visual solutions for product packaging, including confectionery and food. The visual style of TV programs and other media products. This is becoming an increasingly integrating profession that unites the methods and principles of various professional disciplines in working with the complex, multi-level subject of visual reality. In addition to the visual text, image, space, graphic design can master other features, such as time, motion, and interactivity. Furthermore it can operate with more diverse means of marketing, economic, and cultural communications. Professional Software for Graphic Design For offset printing: Adobe Photoshop, Gimp (work with raster images), Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape (work with vector images), QuarkXPress and  Adobe InDesign (page layout). For outdoor advertising and screen printing: Corel Draw. Basic Graphic Design Products Graphic design is one of the trends, helping in creation awesome products. For example, product packaging may include organized text,  a logo or other image, and clean design elements, such as color and shapes, that contribute to the overall perception of the picture. Composition is one of the most important graphic design properties, especially when using preliminary materials or other elements. websites book layouts and illustrations advertising and informational posters graphic solution of postcards and postage stamps records and DVDs corporate style and its main element - the logo Brochures, booklets,  calendars and other advertising products souvenir products Advantages of images, implemented via graphic design technic: Low file storage volume  as a result - quick downloading time; Flexibility of usage in adaptive web and mobile interfaces; Great scalability: convenient customisation. Common use of graphic design includes advertising, magazines, packaging, and web.
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