A Quick Summary of One User Experience Talk at JavaOne

Jeff Hoffman is the lead user experience designer for Java Standard Edition.

It's the second day of JavaOne, and I attended a talk by Ben Galbraith titled Creating a Compelling User Experience. The talk was very well attended and almost filled the 826 person room (and it happens to be the same room that Jindra and I will be presenting in on Friday).

Ben is an entertaining speaker and put together a very slick presentation and demo. He conveyed key items that a developer needs to consider when designing a compelling user experience for their app. The presentation was peppered with quotes from the greats of usability and user experience design, including Alan Cooper, Jef Raskin, Donald Norman and Jakob Nielsen. A few of the points he made stick in my memory, so I'll share them with you:

  • Understand your user, and their expectations
  • Don't let your end user literally design your UI -- base your design on the goals they are trying to achieve
  • Get a visual designer to work with you -- UI design can be likened to fashion design, and you want your app to be "in"
  • Make sure your app is responsive, if the user has to wait more than a second for a response, their mind starts to wander
  • Respect the user's data, that is, don't lose anything the user enters in to the app

He also made some very positive comments about the new Java browser plugin that is included with Java 6 Update 10, and JSR-296 -- the Swing Application Framework. These features enable Java developers to create more responsive applications both in the browser and on the desktop.

Stay tuned... More photos from the show will be posted soon!

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