Text fields. Buttons. Radio Buttons. Dropdown buttons. Icons. Pop-up windows. Progress bars. Checkboxes. Each of these comprise a singular part of a whole to ultimately name themselves the user interface elements.


All the Options!

As you can clearly tell, there are many elements that participate in the creation of online web elements. Naturally, they are segmented into four feasible categories: 1) input controls, 2) navigational components, 3) informational components, and 4) containers.


Familiarity

Because the online world is not a very new concept to us, we are already aware of the vast majority of these components.

For example, input controls are simply the page elements that allow a user to interact with the information and data that are already displayed. We have checkboxes, text fields, and dropdown lists to serve this purpose.

Navigational components provide the user the ability to efficiently (for lack of a better word) navigate the individual pages and subelements that are present on an online site. Many designers underestimate the power of icons, tags, pagination, and search fields due to their seemingly pointless nature.

Information components, then, serve to keep the user entertained with a series of helpful tips, tricks, and tools so that s/he may better circumnavigate the site. Message boxes, progress bars, and pop-up windows often fall under this category.

Last but not least, we have the simplest category of containers. Solely comprised of an accordion, containers have the intent of actively stacking information by means of the “show/hide functionality.”


Feeling a Tad Curious?

Duhhh. Well, check out the original usability.gov website for additional website content galore.


Sources

Go ahead and explore these useful links that were referenced throughout the post:

http://www.usability.gov/how-to-and-tools/methods/user-interface-elements.html

http://www.usability.gov/how-to-and-tools/methods/index.html

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