Saturday, April 22, 2006

Designing for the "Average User"

Including average users in the design ...

"User advocacy is one of the central goals of usability. User advocacy can be defined as the process an IT professional (with an interest in user experience) goes through in re-sensitizing herself to the world of the "average user".

Usability expert reviews are largely an exercise in user advocacy, in addition to an analysis of known usability issues and problems based on knowledge of User Interface Style Guide abnormalities.

So. why do we forget about the "average user" so fast?

We all were average users at one point. We still are when it comes to working with a new program, product or website. The difference between us (IT professionals) and the average user is that we have learned sophisticated coping strategies for figuring out software and the web.

Average users don't care how a program works anymore than you care about how a radio transmits signal while you listen to it or how plants metabolize sunshine to remain green when you look at them.

Average users don't stop to think about how the programmer may have designed a system, how the database is working (as they wait for the round-trip of data back to user interface) or what an icon or screen behavior means. The average user doesn't know, doesn't want to know and has expectations that technology will work "as advertised" and "as expected."   continued ...   (Via )

Average User - User Interface Design, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Ergonomics

Average User

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