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It's important – I'll say this multiple times –
that you *don't just think about individual screens*.
You realize that you're working within an application and think about the *broader structure*.
It's very easy to get focused on screen-by-screen design.
However, that said, of course each screen also is really crucial.
So, *screen design* is one of the important aspects that you have as a designer.
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So, there are lots of details. And for some of these,
particularly if you've done a graphic design background,
you might have knowledge of esthetics way beyond anything that I could do.
And so, your ability to do this is almost certainly going to be better than mine.
However, there are *fundamental principles* that can help,
and this is true probably of every kind of layout and screen.
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So, the first is to ask yourself, *what's the user doing*?
So, when they are looking at the screen in front of them, when they're looking
at this control panel on the device, *what is it* that they're trying to do?
Then think to yourself, what is the information?
What are the comparisons? What's the order of things?
So, if it's an information system, if it's something that's showing data,
what do they want to see, what decisions do they want to make based on that data?
If it's showing buttons to do stuff, what order do they want
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to be able to press those buttons in? What do they want to be able to *achieve*?
And then the design basically flows out from that.
If you think about that old adage *form follows function*,
once you understand what the user's doing, then you can create the view of that, the visual form.
It might be the controls on something, the physical form.
But in a way which follows the function, the things the user wants to achieve.
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In order to do that for a screen, for the visual screen, you have a number of tools available to you.
You can group things together. You can order them in different ways,
decoration, adding lines, colors and things like that.
Alignment and also white space.
But you have a whole variety of tools. So, what you have is a series of *visual tools*
in the sense of things that you can do visually, that help you to allow the user
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– who has some purpose in mind – to achieve that by matching
what's available to the *kinds of things the user wants to do with it*.