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C Style: Standards and Guidelines (contents)

CHAPTER 10 : Programming Usage

PART 4 : USAGE

CHAPTER 10 : Programming Usage
10.1 Elegant programming
10.2 Performance programming
10.3 Defensive programming
10.4 Error handling
10.5 Diagnostics
10.6 Integrity and Recovery
10.7 Testability
10.8 Portability
10.9 Localization
10.10 Usability
10.11 Summary

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10.10  Usability

The first thing a user does to your program is to try to install it on his system, then configure it to work in the manner of his choosing. The first and abiding impressions he gains will be from using installation, configuration and other administrative activities. Yet often these are the very areas of code that are neglected - after all, why spend time on code that is hardly ever used? A good reason is that if the user cannot get past them, he may well give up in disgust!

Similarly, care needs to be taken in other areas of the program to ensure a consistent and usable interface. This includes 'help' systems and documentation as well as the more well known screen and report layouts.

 

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