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