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Back to newsletter 056 contents

How many buttons do you need to click? This was the excellent question asked during a demo I recently saw. What was so good about that question? It is one of the better metrics for measuring user-interface productivity, which is in turn a key metric for perceived performance of user interfaces.

The context was that a developer had created a (Java) data analysis tool that could help to resolve an occasionally recurring but important performance issue. The tool required some data input to specify the problem, and then it chugged away to provide an excel graph for analysis. The question from the chief architect was actually "how many buttons do you need to click to get to the final graph", which is a pretty simple way to find out if the user-interface was optimized.

More generally, of course, an optimized user interface should allow the user to achieve his goal in as few actions as possible. A streamlined user interface is an important aspect of performance, including for browser based applications, and one you should be considering about your application. And in case you are wondering about the analysis application, the answer was one button.

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In the newsletter we list our usual raft of articles, news, and more. In addition, we have Kirk's roundup covering terabyte heaps, scaling considerations, object casts and a concerning issue with CMS garbage collection. And, of course, we have many new performance tips extracted in concise form.

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Jack Shirazi


Back to newsletter 056 contents


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