"The Power of Object-Oriented User Experience in UI Design"


Hatched by naoya

Jun 19, 2024

3 min read


"The Power of Object-Oriented User Experience in UI Design"

In the world of user experience (UX) design, there is a methodology called Object-Oriented User Experience (OOUI) that focuses on associating screens and data with objects in application design. This approach, also known as Object-Based UI Modeling, has gained attention for its ability to provide users with a more intuitive and interactive experience.

OOUI revolves around the concept of displaying objects of user interest on the screen and allowing direct interaction with them. This stands in contrast to traditional Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) that rely on abstract commands and arguments for system manipulation. By using objects as the core modeling element, GUIs can enable users to operate the system in a "noun-verb" syntax, which is essential for achieving modeless design.

On the other hand, Command-Line Interfaces (CLIs) follow a "verb-noun" structure, where users first select a task and then specify the objects or parameters as arguments. While task-based modeling, as seen in CLI, can be tolerated in certain cases, such as ATMs where the selection of the object (e.g., "account") is integrated with the insertion of a card, it is generally less intuitive and limits user productivity.

To enhance usability and foster user creativity, it is crucial to aim for an object-based UI that empowers users with control. This approach allows users to actively engage with the information objects, enabling them to enjoy the process of manipulation and exercise their creativity freely.

By prioritizing the selection of tasks before revealing the objects, UIs based on task modeling can often result in higher interaction costs and induce stress. Users are required to navigate through a dark tunnel without being able to see the objects they are interacting with, which imposes significant cognitive and physical burdens for potentially limited outcomes.

In UI design, there are two key concepts related to object grouping: "Frame Selection" and "Group Selection." These techniques allow designers to organize shapes, texts, and other objects into cohesive units, enhancing the visual hierarchy and enabling efficient editing.

A "Frame" is a single view that displays one object's information, usually presenting more attributes than a collection. On the other hand, a "Collection" refers to a view that showcases multiple instances of the same kind of object. In collection views, only the most important attributes of the objects are typically displayed.

Integrating the principles of OOUI into UI design can significantly improve the overall user experience. Here are three actionable pieces of advice to consider:

  • 1. Embrace Object-Based UI Modeling: Prioritize the display of user-relevant objects and allow direct interaction, enabling users to operate the system in a more intuitive and engaging manner.
  • 2. Balance Task and Object Modeling: While object-based UI modeling is ideal for enhancing user creativity and enjoyment, consider the context and limitations of certain tasks that may benefit from task-based modeling.
  • 3. Utilize Frame and Group Selection: Organize objects into frames and groups to create visual coherence and streamline editing processes within the UI design tool.

In conclusion, Object-Oriented User Experience (OOUI) offers a powerful framework for UI design by focusing on object-based modeling and enabling users to engage directly with the objects of their interest. By incorporating these principles, designers can create more intuitive and enjoyable interfaces that enhance user productivity and satisfaction.

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