Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Intuition

Intuition: it’s not what you think.

The relationship between intuition and user interface design ...

"You might feel intuition is the best way to understand the problem of designing an interface. You rely on your intuition, you trust it, maybe you even feel that it’s the source of deep insight and creativity.

But you’d be wrong.

Intuition is really your first impression, that little bubble of apparent understanding that comes unbidden in response to a situation. When we build our UIs, intuition is often what guides our initial work. "Ah this one…it’s child’s play," we think to ourselves. And it’s too often where we stop.

Turns out you can’t quit with just the translation of intuition into an interface. That’s the point of user testing – you’ve got to watch your pride and joy actually be used by real people in real situations. It’s not enough to have a brilliant, intuitive idea that you think will work. (After all, it’s intuitive, isn’t it?) You really have to watch someone else trying to solve a problem with the child of your intuition. You have to put the test users under a bit of stress, so that the natural beauty of your interface design isn’t the thing they’re noticing and appreciating – they’re focusing on the work itself, and not the tool.

Great user interfaces might spring from an intuitive understanding, but they’re crafted by hard work; honed by carefully removing everything that doesn’t add to the tool’s value, deleting anything that gets in the way, or whatever it is that causes confusion.

Making the user interface “intuitive” is often our highest goal when we do our professional work."   continued ...   (Via Creating Passionate Users)

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

First Impressions

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