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Relevant considerations:

Use of terms and analogies that are familiar to the user are of great help when learning a new system. At the same time there needs to be some caution to in the use of analogies which might cause more harm than gain in the end.

Follow standard data formats or common conventions in the user community. Let users use the data units that are most appropriate in the community, and the system can perform necessary conversions.

Abbreviate only when space is a concern, and only when the abbreviation is significantly shorter. Be consistent, using only one abbreviation per word. Abbreviate only commonly abbreviated words, otherwise it may be hard for the user to understand the meaning of the instructions.

Use of color codes should either reflect normal color meaning (see the pattern meaningful interface on page gif), or task relevant color codes adopted from the user's community.

Michael Spring
Mon Nov 27 18:39:52 EST 1995