Design and Command Line Applications

Accepted Session
Short Form
Scheduled: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 from 4:45 – 5:30pm in B202/203


Design has permeated our culture and our tools, but the software you're building doesn't have a graphical interface. That doesn't exempt you from thinking about user experience design! Learn how UX principles apply to even basic command line scripts.


You wouldn’t be satisfied publishing a poorly factored mess of spaghetti code as your magnum opus. You seek elegance, clarity, and simplicity in your software’s architecture, and beauty in its code.

Why would you be content to ship that code in a box filled with razor blades?

If software exists for people to use, then we must be mindful of the people using it. That means designing the outside edges of our software with the same attention to detail we put on the inside, whether we’re writing a web application, a remote API, or a command line script.

In this session, we’ll explore some of the basic principles of UX design and talk about how those principles can be applied to CLI applications (and beyond!). We’ll also look at real-world design artifacts created by this process, and lay to rest the age-old question:

If a user screams in frustration, but they’re not using a mouse, does it matter?

Speaking experience

I've taken part in lightning talks and led interactive group demos in the past.