Developing software that is easy to use is not always a simple task. One way to help create software that is easier for users to learn and use, is to follow conventions in the use, style, layout and positioning of form components.
Here are some guides for a number of different environments and platforms:
Windows Vista User Experience Guidelines
Microsoft Inductive User Interface Guidelines
How to Create the Best User Experience for Your Application
Java Look and Feel Design Guidelines
Apple's User Experience Guide
GNOME Human Interface Guidelines
UI and User Experience Guidelines for Nokia mobile phones
Smartphone User Interface Guidelines
Sometimes there are benefits to creating something that looks different, but it is very easy to create something that looks ugly and is confusing for users.
Creating something that looks and behaves like applications that users have used before:
- Creates comfort and familiarity for the user.
- Means that things will work the way the user expects.
- Means that the application will be quicker and easier for the user to learn.