8. The Graceful Interface

This chapter describes the nuts and bolts of what makes a software experience feel good under the fingers. Psychologist Donald Norman identified three levels of cognitive processing that are relevant to design, and the concerns of this chapter can be roughly correlated to the first, the visceral level: both the unconscious, automatic, mechanical interaction of a person sliding his fingers across a piece of glass, and the immediate feelings produced in his brain by the way the software under the glass responds.

The goal is to craft a graceful interface, one that produces a viscerally satisfying experience for the person using it. The gracefulness of an interface can be separated from its other merits or failings—even ...

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