Within the last few months a form of UI development has been growing on me, it is called Inductive User Interfaces.
Here is a link to some guidelines Microsoft wrote up on them:
It appears Microsoft is moving their consumer products in the direction of adopting a hybrid of IUI and a task based metaphor. What strikes me as pretty neat about this model is you are trying to convey to the user/consumer a list of choices and what the expected outcome those choices will have with regard to the task they are trying to perform. Instead of just providing a textbox and giving a brief ‘username/password’ = identifier in front of it, you describe where you can get that information, how it was suppose to come into your possession. Maybe even a couple examples of acceptable looking input.
What do you all think? Is it a good idea or bad idea?
Various versions of Microsoft Money seem to have noticed reduced support calls and overall improved customer satisfaction after switching over to the model.