Standards development for industry applications (by yesterday :-)

18 May 2007 - 8:33pm
621 reads

Liz - Layout standards (beyond appearance and widget style guides) are
difficult to develop since so much depends on the particulars of each
individual application. Two areas that pay handsome rewards for
standardizing are nomenclature (terms appearing in the user interface)
and icons. This is particularly important when you want to have a
unique brand identity and to maximize transfer of learning from one
application to another. It takes a lot of work to agree on such
standards and then to ensure their use, but the payoffs for the user
are great when the same word and related icon mean the same thing from
application to application from the same company.

Keith S. Karn, Ph.D.
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences
University of Rochester
Rochester, NY 14627-0270

On May 18, 2007, "Elizabeth Whitworth" <elizabethwhitworth at>
> I need some advice! We are currently developing a set of standards for
> for
> interface design and user interaction at my company. I have found many
> examples of style guides for e-commerce applications and public
> web-sites,
> but very little guidance regarding more complex industry-based
> applications.
> Has anyone had any experience in creating and applying standards to a
> diverse set of industry strength applications?
> My company deals with functionality such as timeslot booking, complex
> data
> entry/viewing, and transaction-based communication. We have already
> defined
> some standards for basic visual design and interface elements (headers,
> menus, tables, forms, etc.), and now management would like a set of
> standards for screen layout and interaction design that can be applied
> to
> all new development projects.
> Any advice on how to approach such an assignment? I would particularly
> appreciate some insight into how we could provide something basic but
> useful
> to our developers *right now* (or as soon as we can create it), and
> then
> build on the standards as we go. We want to get some basic standards
> out
> asap to support a number of projects that will soon be underway.
> Eventually
> we want to provide a comprehensive set of templates and possible
> interaction
> components, but this will take time, since we have 6+ product types
> and only
> 3 of us in the (brand new :-) user experience department.
> Thanks in advance,
> - liz
> Elizabeth Whitworth - Usability Analyst
> mail: whitworth at

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