In interaction design visibility is being able to see all needed options and materials visible. Reveal functions and make features easily found but without becoming complex or redundant. Create simple and understandable designs. Do not confuse the user with too many options or functions they dont need. Complex features or ones not often used can be hidden and revealed only when you need them. This can be done by having a panel cover or hide these advanced functions.When you make seen what needs to be seen it helps those using the object understand more of how it should be used and how. By simplifying layout and functions possible it makes learning how to operate the object potentially faster.
“In the Android phone, there are four permanent controls at the bottom of the screen: back, menu, home, and search. They are always visible, suggesting that they are always operative. True for three out of the four, but not for the menu button. This visible menu button implies that there is a menu available, but no, many applications (and places within applications) don’t have menus and even those that do don’t always have them everywhere. There is no way to tell without pushing the button and discovering that nothing happens. (Actually, it means multiple pushes because the lack of a response the first time may reflect the unreliability of the technology.)” Don Norman, http://www.jnd.org/dn.mss/gestural_interfaces_a_step_backwards_in_usability_6.html
We need tools that work and if a thing is visible it should work. If a function is accessible it should be use able. With the phone there are buttons not always in use. They should not be visible if not always used. This could be done by having the back light to it dark to make it less visible while the back light should only be on those usable in that mode. App designers need to have the button not visible if it does not operate in that mode or give it an appropriate function. Make interface visible but only when it helps and don’t make things visible that will only confuse or cause problems.