Last week, I got on my soapbox and chatted about user interface design fails. It turns out the weekend's accidental missile alert in Hawaii was the result of users error that was facilitated by some poor user interface design.
Tagged With user interface
I spend a lot of time using various computers as well as an iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch. Given the modern computer interface has been in development for over 30 years you'd think developers and designers would be pretty good at avoiding useless screens and poorly designed controls. But that doesn't seem to be the case. I'm going to mention a couple that I keep bumping into but I'd love to hear from you about your user interface fails.
For those who don't know art and don't care to know art, it still helps to know some easy-to-implement, empirically tested design techniques. Especially if you'll be working in a small team one day, where everyone needs to wear multiple hats. Erik Kennedy has posted a primer for just that on his blog, and it contains a lot of great tips.
You know how you've just got used to that Google+-inspired black menu bar across the top of your screen? Get ready to get used to something else. Google is in the process of rolling out a new interface, the Google Bar, which lets you switch between Google services (Gmail, Docs, Calendar and the like) from a drop-down menu.
Whether you've installed Ubuntu on an older computer or you're rocking a low-powered netbook with Ubuntu installed, Ubuntu's Unity interface can be a little sluggish. Unity 2D is a low-resource version of Unity designed for weaker systems.
We've shown you how to bring the OS X GUI to Windows, but if you're more of a Linux fan, Macbuntu will add an OS X theme to your Ubuntu desktop instead.
Google's Chrome browser is proving increasingly popular, while work continues on the Chrome OS project to build a minimal, browser-based interface for netbooks. Lifehacker spoke with Chrome user interface design team developer Glen Murphy -- an Aussie now working at Google HQ in California -- to discuss the future directions Chrome and Chrome OS will take, why the Chrome Web Store is so important, and the relative important of touch screens and keyboard shortcuts.
Many readers were seriously impressed with the stylish, minimalist Conky setup we highlighted last week for Linux desktops. Just as many readers, however, wanted something similar for their Windows desktops running Samurize. In less than six hours, industrious commenter hyperhead had drafted the majority of that Conky setup's tools into a Samurize config file, and now he's offering it up for everyone. Read on for a shot of the Samurize setup in context and to grab the file for your own tweaking.
Ubuntu Linux only: Ubuntu Tweak is a small customisation tool that gives you a single access point to some of the interface and file browsing options tucked away in Ubuntu's advanced preferences or text configuration files. Along with a few of the more common Compiz Fusion and interface preferences, Ubuntu Tweak lets you enable useful functions for CD burning, easily enable and change splash screens, make advanced power management changes, and even lock down certain tools for security reasons. Experienced users may know how to change a lot of things in this app, but for new installs, and new users, it's a time saver. Ubuntu Tweak is a free download for Ubuntu Linux systems.