I don't have the language to even ask this question appropriately. I am designing a spec for a design of a UI that will assist the functionality of another device. I'd like to state in words that a design goal of this application in general is to be absent, that it should assist what the user wants to do, but not get in the way, the user shouldn't have to focus on this UI to have his work done. I don't even know where to start to put this in words though.

Good examples that I can think of are all kind of applications that assist with driving a car.

  • i'd say you need a minimal and contextually responsive interface more than an absent one – dandavis Sep 19 '18 at 20:28

I think the term you missing is Workflow.

Users that have software that helps them do their job fall into the Expert User paradigm.

Here are some common examples of expert users:

  • pilot
  • graphic designer
  • screen trader

For expert users, the job of a UI is to support one or more workflows that these users go through as part of their job. Therefore the software should be designed around making the workflow as efficient as possible, i.e. it should reduce the effort of common tasks, not complicate them.

Other things to keep in mind for expert users:

  • They are happy to invest a large amount of effort in learning to use software, provided it makes them more efficient and / or productive in their work.
  • Preference for keyboard over using the mouse, particularly for repetitive tasks that involve some data entry. Keyboard shortcuts as an alternative to multiple mouse clicks / menu navigation.
  • The need to navigate and compare large volumes of different types of information.
  • Users need to feel in complete control over their work. This feeling of control is essential for a positive user experience.

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