Efficient Design

Minimize User Actions
Optimize the Composition
Show Relevant Information

Efficient: Achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense.

/ɪˈfɪʃ(ə)nt/

1. MINIMISE USER ACTIONS

1. Do not force unnecessary actions
2. Make it simple but not simplistic
3. Minimize repeat effort

What is the shortest path to achieving the objective?
What’s the simplest way to achieve the objective?
How to can the task be repeated with minimum of effort?

Efficiency translates to productivity. Users and businesses love efficiency especially in the face of repetition.

Efficiency design requires the minimum of user interactions to successfully perform a task.

Efficient design makes doing the most frequently performed tasks easy.

Every action has an opportunity cost.

Do not force unnecessary actions

Unnecessary
Not needed.

/ʌnˈnɛsəs(ə)ri/

What’s the shortest path to achieving the objective?

This includes minimising navigation and repetition.

Each task should require only a minimum number of actions to complete. If the action can be done with a single click of a button, don’t force the user through three clicks (for example via a drop-down list) to achieve the same result unless real estate on the screen is very restricted.

So minimise clicks, maximise available visible data, have data entry default values, personalise if possible (for example allow users to create favourite lists and save common searches.)

Make it simple not simplistic

Simple
Easily understood or done; presenting no difficulty.

/ˈsɪmp(ə)l/

What’s the simplest way to achieving the objective?

Simple is not necessarily shortest. This is also about simplicity of layout and simplicity is a key component not just of efficiency but of composition.

Imagine the minimum, the fastest way, then work backwards only adding in what is needed.

The function of all controls and the nature of all information displayed must be self-evident.

Balance Value – carefully balance alternate flow options

Eviscerate by the uses that add value

The greatest good for the greatest people.

Like a zero-balance budget.

Less navigation is generally better. Wizards are good for new user but get tedious.

Minimize repeat effort

Tedious
Too long, slow, or dull; tiresome or monotonous..

/ˈtiːdɪəs/

How can I do that task again with minimum of effort?

Optimize the use of real estate
Know your options
Know your technical architecture

2. OPTIMISE COMPOSITION

1. Optimize the use of real estate
2. Know your interaction options and standards
3. Know your technical architecture

Where is the best place, in terms of form and function, to place components?
How can the user interact with the system?
How does the system create, read, update, delete and store data?

Know the workspace, minimise user actions, show relevant information.

This is where clarity, use and efficiency must be optimised. There will be trade-offs.

Composition: The way in which a whole is made up of its components.

/kɒmpəˈzɪʃ(ə)n/

Optimise the real estate

Where is the best place, in terms of form and function, to place things?

– Function KNOW YOUR WORKSPACE

Less is more but there is a difference between simplicity and being simplistic; clever design allows the user to provide the user with at least the option of easily accessing everything they may want. Beware, simple can be the enemy of useful.

Filters allow for re-tasking at different dimensions or hierarchical levels of the same real estate.

Less navigation is generally better. Wizards are good for new user but get tedious.

Users feel better if they think they have a mental picture of the whole application.

Repetition is fine. If two components need to be viewed together and in different places, then show them twice.

Know your interaction options and standards

How can I interact with the system?

Designs need to be mobile friendly almost always.

Click, hover, list, multiple-selection, radio-buttons, check-boxes, drop-down lists, auto-complete, auto-search, swipe, hold, tap, double tap, voice.

MOBILE STANDARDS

iOS Spectific

Android Spectiic

Know your technical architecture

How does the system create, read, update and delete data?

Push, pull, on-line, off-line, micro-service.

3. SHOW RELEVANT INFORMATION

1. Show, don’t hide
2. Remember and default
3. Expand is your friend

What information might be needed to achieve the objective?
What information provided by the user is likely to remain relevant for future interactions?
What information can be condensed for clarity but easily shown without requiring navigation to a new page?

‘Everything you do is either effective or ineffective.’ – Leif Babbin

Show Relevant Information

Relevant: Closely connected or appropriate to what is being done or considered.

/ˈrɛləv(ə)nt/

Show don’t hide

What information might be needed to achieve the objective?

Do not oblige the users to remember information or require them to navigate to get supporting information.

Don’t require users to remember data

Users should not be required to memorise information from one part of the system to another in order to perform a task. Users should never be required to supply information that the system already knows. They should never be required to do the thinking for the system.

Remember and default

What information provided by the user is likely to remain relevant in future interactions?

Should not have to enter information again.

Offer defaults if possible.

Auto complete.

Expand is your friend

What information can be condensed for clarity but easily shown without requiring navigation to new page?

Instead of navigating consider sections that expand to show additional information, or outside the standard screen size.

Don’t deluge the user with information irrelevant to their goals.