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SXSW 2017

Designing Great Command-Line User Experiences

One interface sorely neglected in experience design today is that of the terminal. Large groups of users like devops engineers, data scientists and software developers use the terminal to get complex tasks done quickly.

Many designers, however, regard the terminal as a throwback to the days of mainframe computers and MS-DOS. They design primarily for the web or mobile and neglect the terminal, resulting in ad-hoc, poorly-thought-out command-line experiences.

In this talk, we will examine some of the approaches we’ve taken to design beautiful but concise command-line user experiences. Expect plenty of examples on how to delight your customers through a small terminal window.

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  1. Why might I consider using a terminal (command-line-based) interface for my product?
  2. What are some of the techniques I can use to make my command-line interface usable by my users?
  3. How can I get fast feedback on what parts of my command-line interface are or aren't working?



Julian Dunn, Prod Mgr, Chef Software, Inc

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