Designing Visual Interfaces

Today I am reading Designing Visual Interfaces: communication oriented techniques by Kevin Mullet and Darrell Sano.

Here are some gems

Visual Design attempts to solve communication problems in a way that is at once functionally effective and aesthetically pleasing. (p1)

By communication, we mean the full process by which the behaviour of one goal-seeking entity comes to be affected by that of another through the reciprocal exchange of messages or signs over some mediating physical channel.p1

The goal of communcation-oriented design is to develop a message that can be accuratley transmitted and correctly interpreted, and which will produce the desired bhavioral outcome after it have been understood by its recipient.p2

We refer frequently to a visual language, by which we mean the visual characteristics (shape, size, position, orientation, color, texture, etc.) of a particular set of design elements (point, line, plane, volume, etc.) and the away they are related to one another (balance, thythm, structure, proportion, etc) in solving a particular problem. Any language system defines both a universe of possible signs and a set of rules for using them. Every visual language thus has a formal vocabulary containing the basic design elements from which higher-level representations are assembled, and a visual syntax describing how elements may be combined within that system.
p2

In the context of GUI toolkits, “…most toolkits impose unnecessary design restrictions as a side effect of their own implementation or internal structure.”p4

Basic principles of visual organisation developed through centuries of experience with print media have rarely been applied to the on-screen media, and communication has suffered as a result. p5

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