One very important part of developing a visual programming language (VPL) is deciding how the language should look. So lately I have read some material on the web about topics such as usability, user experience, and user interface design. These two posts by Michael Zuschlag are a nice introduction to the topic, for anyone interested:
- Putting the G into GUI: short intro to why modern web are still as unusable as old green monochrome interfaces, since they are not using graphics to help display the information to the user. He then goes on to explain the different ways information can be displayed in a graphical way.
- Putting the (X,Y) into GUI: long (and a bit complex) explanation on how you can use location as a way to encode values you are displaying. Examples like maps, “stringlines” show how this is very helpful. The end of the post talks about a “graphic layout”, which is a method to layout things in a window graphically. Interesting reading.