Interface Design

There is a an eventual transition point between interaction design and interface design where decisions have to be made as to the actual presentation of the components the user will interact with; in the case of a visual oriented system the appearance, operation and placement of graphical user-interface (GUI) components on the screen, fonts, colours, etc. (sometimes described as the ‘look and feel’).  The available choices here will depend on: facilities available in the implementation environment; any standards already set by the client; resources available to develop new GUI components.  Examples of the first two factors are given below.  In the case of the web, it is relatively easy to create unique and novel interactive components; this is not always advantageous.

Implementation environments

Android Material Design

The newly developed interface design guidelines for Android development, based on a paper metaphor.

Apple iOS

Human Interface Guidelines for developing iOS applications.


An integrated development environment (IDE) primarily for Java but also available for other programming languages.

Microsoft Windows

Guidelines for design in the Microsoft Universal Windows Platform (UWP) style for apps on all Windows 10-based devices.

Interface design standards

These are sometimes presented as a ‘style guide’ containing a mixture of interaction and graphical design prescriptions.  The examples given here are publicly available government guidelines.  Companies will have their own corporate style guides that are regarded a proprietary assets.

Common User Interface (CUI) for medical information systems

These are supported by the UK Government Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).  They are extremely substantial, detailed and comprehensive.

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services usability guidelines.



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