Sunday, December 10, 2006

Rhythm method

Users operate with a rhythm ...

"What’s more, that sense of a beat measuring out time is intrinsic to almost everything we do, be it conversations, living our lives or learning how to use software.

A story that illustrates the point…

A few years ago, while studying the way teachers teach Japanese in a classroom, I spent a lot of time watching videos of language classes. If you’ve ever spent time learning another language, you know what it’s like—lots of drilling and practice speaking. It’s an essential part of class; you need to get good at hearing and saying different word forms and that requires a great deal of back and forth between teacher and students.

But as I spent hours doing video analysis of the classes, I ended up doing a lot of rewinding and fast-forwarding. As you’d expect, I watched a lot of Japanese classes go by on the video monitor in 2X or 3X real time. And I noticed that when you watch these classes fly by on video, there’s an amazingly regular pulse to the class. The teacher prompts, the students reply… the teacher prompts, the students reply… on and on.

Curious about this unexpectedly regular pulse in the class, I actually went through one of the classes and noted each prompt and each response, wrote down the timecode, then plotted them out as a graph. To my amazement, the back-and-forth of the interactions was incredibly regular – each event showed up as a regularly spaced dot on my chart."    (Continued via Creating Passionate Users)    [Usability Resources]

The Rhythm of Users - Usability, User Interface Design

The Rhythm of Users

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