Interestingly, web design entered the mature stage in which not all technical possibilites are demonstrated, but in which the user is in the centre of attention. Matt Cronin wrote an article a while back which is still highly interesting: 10 Principles For Readable Web Typography. His suggestions become ever more important for any software running in a browser, blurring the lines between stand-alone software and a website.
The principles Matt suggests are:
- User-Friendly Headers
- Scannable Text
- White Space
- Density of Text
- Emphasis of Important Elements
- Organization of Information
- Clean Graphical Implementation
- Use of Separators
- Good Margins
Some of them are applications of basic design principles, but nonetheless I agree with all of them.
The three principles of UI Design
are well-known, yet broken every once in a while. Interestingly, a company famous for their user interfaces is one of the breakers of these principles: Apple. Read the article Providing Predictable Targets on AskTog.
I guess that every product manager knows that good design goes beyond aesthetics. Although for software products, there are less technical restrictions to the design of the user interface than to tangible products, good design rules apply to software user interface as well.
Dieter Rams is a well-known German designer. His “10 Principles for Good Design” are a very good read on what purposes design has apart from making something look good. I find the principles about being unobtrusive, yet guiding the user, highly important for any product. Vitsoe has nice examples for each of the principles.