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Chapter 1. Interface Design > The Principle of Interface Design

The Principle of Interface Design

Most books on the subject of interface design contain a list of design rules telling you to do this and not to do that, and this one is no exception. But in truth, there's only one principle: Remember why you're there. With very rare exceptions, you're designing a system to make it easier for somebody to do something; not to provide some “functionality” to a bunch of abstract users, but to help a real live person do some real thing.

You may be helping somebody complete a business task more quickly, or entertaining somebody else with a game, or aiding a third person's search for the McGuffin, but whatever the system's function, the point is to provide some service to a person. (I did once work for a company whose primary development project seemed to have the goal of keeping the programming staff amused, but they didn't stay in business long.)


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