Nine Principles of a Lightful Interface

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Try this:

Keep these nine Lightful principles next to your own computer, and note how many times per day it violates each one of them.

MODELESS
The same action, performed on the same object, never results in a different outcome.

MONOTONOUS
Rather than choosing among multiple ways to issue a command, there is exactly one way to achieve any given task.

SUBSERVIENT
Assume your users are intelligent. Assume your users are busy.

INTERRUPTIBLE
Nothing your computer is doing is more important that you. Every process must be instantly interruptible.

PERSISTENT
The system should remain in the exact state it was when the user last left it.

FORGIVING
No error should be irreversible. All actions should be undoable, no matter how trivial or large, or how far in the past.

VISIBLE
System status should always be visible for all actions, even if the information seems too “low level” for the user.

INVISIBLE
The interface only exists to support the user’s actual task. Never let the interface become the focus of the user’s attention.

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