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Chapter 11. Designing for People > Inflecting the Interface

Inflecting the Interface

You can always make an interaction easier, simply by removing functions and making the product less powerful. Occasionally that is an appropriate tactic, but not usually. The more-difficult design problem demands ease of use without sacrificing functions and power. This is difficult to achieve, but by no means impossible. All it requires is a technique I call inflecting the interface.

Even though a program must deliver lots of functions, not all of them are needed everywhere, by all users, or at all times. For any given use scenario, the user persona will need to use only a small subset of controls and data, although that set might change over time or with the particular problem under study. The interface can be simplified dramatically by placing the controls and data needed for the daily-use scenarios prominently in the interface and moving all others to secondary locations, out of normal sight.


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