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Software for Use: A Practical Guide to the Models and Methods of Usage-Centered Design by Lucy A. D. Lockwood, Larry L. Constantine

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9 Innovative Interfaces: Creative Interface Engineering and Custom Components

Creative Engineering

According to the chorus in Steven Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George, art isn’t easy. Neither is engineering, we might respond. Good art and good engineering both demand creativity. Perhaps because of its graphical elements and the early involvement of graphic design professionals, user interface design is often thought of as an art [Laurel and Mountford, 1990]. An overemphasis on artistry and artistic merit can be unfortunate, however, because art does not have to be practical. The ultimate test of software usability is how a user interface works in practice. Because the user interface has to work, effective user interface design is really ...

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