I know, you’ve probably heard this a million times before in books, articles, and other conference sessions. I’ve said it, preached it, and tried to practice it, but I often find myself short on respecting Windows settings (remember the high contrast theme?).
This tip is exactly what I was talking about in the quick note about this session.
I’ve always taken great pride in my UI design (right or wrong, and many times I’ve been wrong), and I had planned for this session to show you something pretty. But as I worked on the session (and re-worked it again, several times) I found that some things I built that looked pretty to me could be very ugly to others.
During the working and re-working, I found myself going back to the Microsoft UX Guide many times.
The Microsoft UX Guide for Vista and Windows 7 contains the following statements about user settings (on page 621-622):
- Accessibility and the system font, sizes, and colors
The guidelines for making text accessible to users with disabilities or impairments can be boiled down to one simple rule: Respect the user’s settings by always using the system font, sizes, and colors.
- If you do only one thing...
Respect the user’s settings by always using the system font, sizes, and colors.
During the course of preparing this session, the guideline above went from being an afterthought to a driving principle.