UI modes by usage 23:42 on Thursday
Most applications with an even slightly wider feature set have some kind of modes of operation. These modes group features of similar functionality. iPhoto, for example, has an image import mode, an image browsing mode, and an image editing mode. The import mode only lets you import photos, the editing mode lets you crop and retouch photos, and the browsing mode is optimized for not only finding photos quickly, but for generally doing things with the photos: emailing to friends, using as desktop, ordering printed books of photos, printing photo calendars, etc.
So here’s the what if… What if the features in an application were grouped solely based on how often the features are needed? What if we would design modes of grouped actions selected by rules such as:
- Features used four times out of five launching the application. Features the user actively clicks, interacts with, and uses four times out of five visits to a web app, or a website for that matter.
- Features used two times out of five.
- Features used less than one time out of five. Maybe one out of twenty? Out of hundred? (I’m sure there are plenty of feature like that in modern software.)
How would this change the design of an application? It would be interesting to see what an UI mode would look like if we designed a view hiding all the 4-out-of-5 features entirely and showing only the 2-out-of-5 features.