Monday, February 9, 2009

Good GUI's Gone Bad?


This post was inspired by frustration with a particular UI feature in a particular product:  The OPTIONS dialog in AutoCAD.  But this could (and likely does) apply to almost any application out there that uses a GUI (graphical user interface).

If you haven't seen it, even lately, the OPTIONS dialog has gone stupid.  Just totally stupid.  Anyone that looks at it and doesn't immediately think "wow, that's a lot of tabs!" is either blind or numb, or really just doesn't care (more likely).  I wonder if the people working on it ever studied user interface design.  Did they even read a book on the subject?  Read a blog maybe?  I doubt it.

I would strongly suggest investigating a different design.  Maybe a vertical strip of tabs along the left or right side?  Maybe convert the tabs into a drop-down list?  Maybe something else.  Who knows.  But at the current rate, version 2012 will likely reach 25 tabs and have a scroll bar to browse over to the end when they run off the edge of the dialog form.  Holy crap!
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