22 October 2006

Innovative user interface design [uiGarden]

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Fisheye menu
Tim Fidgeon writes in uiGarden about new types of web user interfaces that are taking advantage of users’ increasing levels of internet sophistication and faster connections. These new interfaces often allow users to view and manipulate large quantities of data.

The four types of user interface Fidgeon explores are

  • Slider-based filtering which allow users to broaden and narrow a wide range of filtering criteria, as can be seen on Amazon’s Diamond Search;
  • Fisheye menus to navigate long, ordered lists. An example can be seen on this demo site;
  • Treemaps display rows of data as groups of squares that can be arranged, sized and coloured to graphically reveal underlying data patterns. This user interface design can be used to present complicated data relationships (such as hierarchical relationships). An example can be found on the Smartmoney website, where a tool allows visitors to view information on hundreds of stocks at a glance (see “The Markets” in right-side box);
  • Drag-and-drop which works like a Windows or Mac interface and can be found on Panic Good’s online store.

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