Stage 3: Organizing content on the screen
During this stage, lay out the components on each screen. Make sure that the components are organized in a way that makes sense to users. Make sure that the layout and behavior of each component helps users perform tasks quickly and easily. For example, use spin boxes for a list of sequential items and drop-down lists for non-sequential items or items with irregular intervals.
You can create the following design outputs to help you organize content on the screen:
- Page layouts
- Detailed designs of task flows and navigation
- A naming model for objects and actions in the UI
User research methods
You can use the following types of user research methods to help you organize content on the screen:
User research method
Usability evaluation of goal-based tasks
After you evaluate high-level tasks, you can focus on evaluating the details of specific tasks.
This type of evaluation provides feedback on the terms used across the application.
Best practice: Organizing content on the screen
Consider the following guidelines:
- Stay focused on users' immediate task. Display only the information that users need at any one moment.
- If there are many components on a screen, group the components where possible.
- Minimize the number of times that users need to click the trackpad or touch the screen to complete a task.
- Use clear, concise labels that map to the naming model.
- Leave enough space in your UI for translated text. The height and the width of text might expand when translated from English to other languages.
- Avoid overloading users. For example, allow users to select an item from a list instead of making users type the name of an item.
- Verify that the actions that are available in the menu are relevant to users' current context.
- Address any physical challenges. For example, if the application displays a lot of content, avoid designing screens that require users to repeatedly scroll to the top of the screen to initiate an action.
- Try to reduce the amount of time between a user action and the desired result. If an operation takes longer than users expect, provide a meaningful message. If you can determine the duration, display a progress indicator. Otherwise, display an activity indicator.
If you follow the BlackBerry platform conventions, users know what to expect from their BlackBerry devices.
- Use BlackBerry UI components in consistent patterns and layouts. Even if you customize a component (for example, change the color) the behavior and layout of the component should stay the same across applications.
- Make sure that the default menu item for each screen initiates the same action that occurs when users click a trackpad or tap a touch screen. This approach keeps behaviors consistent across devices, including devices that have both a trackpad and a touch screen.
- Display the application name or screen title, and useful notifications, in the title bar.
- Design for vertical scrolling. Avoid horizontal scrolling where possible.
- Avoid making users scroll in dialog boxes.
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