This Monday, Felix Black gave a talk on how to design user interfaces.
Felix started with a short motivation, why we actually should be interested in designing user interfaces. He showed some FORTRAN code, he had to use a couple of months ago. Even though the code was commented very well, it was still quite card to use. Lots of parameters could be tuned and for a new user, it was kind of impossible to detect the important ones. In addition, this approach requires the knowledge of FORTRAN syntax, which is another barrier for having people using your code.
As a remedy, Felix proposes to write simple(!) graphical user interfaces. He showed how to set up such an interface with OCTAVE and demonstrated its usage with a simple fractal generator.