Scholastic's new foundational reading program SYSTEM 44 mobile version. Whole software has been redesigned for optimal tablet experience. Here are some key UX design principals for this project I set for my design team.
The Goal : Make It Easy
Content is King Design needs to defer to content. Content should stand out from all surroundings.
“Show me what I need to see clearly.” Don’t make user look for the content. Make sure UI elements don’t overpower content.
Discrimination is good. Don’t let different types of information mingle together. Provide clear distinction between them. Make sure all the information is categorized and grouped clearly. Well-organized visual information help users navigate contents easily.
The power of negative space. Negative space is not empty space. It is the most effective way to support core content and separate it from other sub-information.
“Only show what I need when I need it.” Showing too much at once makes users to interpret a lot of information. It can stress users. Hide or push back options that aren’t essential at the moment to perform a given task.
Again, less is more. It is always tempting to put more cool features on the screen. But design is not about adding more stuff. Design is coming up with a easy solution to present a clear message to users.
“Show me what is most important and what is next” Building a clear visual hierarchy is critical for successful UX design. Design should start with a simple question: What do the users need to see first and what’s next? Clear visual hierarchy makes the task easy.
“When I need it, it should be there.” Build a concrete UX design pattern and language and stick to it. You don’t want to confuse or surprise your users by changing UI elements position, style and functionality screen by screen.
“Show me where I am.” Users should always know where they are in the program. No one wants to be lost in a maze. Show them the exit and their current location. Then they will set a goal.
“Let’s do it one at a time.” Break complex tasks into smaller ones that can be easily accomplished. Always manage user's learning curve.
Always give users feedback for their action. Take full advantage of technology and let them know the program always respond to their action.