Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Are your users stuck in "P" mode?

Mastering your tools regardless of usability...

"How many things do you own where you can't use more than 10% of what they can actually can do? The home stereo you play CDs on but gave up on Surround Sound. The cell phone that can fry eggs, but you still can't get it to vibrate. The software app where half the menus might as well be Latin. So what are we doing to make sure this doesn't happen to our users?

Several weeks' back I took a one-night Digital SLR class, and at the beginning the teacher asked us each to say why we were there. All 18 of us said the same thing, one after the other: "I know I have an SLR that can do so many things, but I'm still stuck in "P"--Program Mode--and I don't know how to use anything else." In other words, we were all using our pricey bazillion-megapixel cameras like point-and-shoot disposables.

Here we are with all this power and flexibility, and we can't get past AUTOMATIC. Why? It's tempting to just write it off as a usability flaw. But that's not the case with my camera--the Nikon D200 is dead easy to adjust. For most of us, the problem was NOT that we couldn't learn how to use anything but automatic "P" mode. The problem was that we didn't know why or when to use anything else."   (Continued via Creating Passionate Users)               [Usability Resources]

Learn why to use your tools - User Interface Design, Human Computer Interaction (HCI), Ergonomics

Learn 'why' to use your tools

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