Getting used to new technology.... :)

Apr 13, 2011

New ways of delivering information and learning always take some getting used to – for both the “designers” and the “learners”.

How we explain Navigation to users?

This sums it up beautifully -


7 Replies
James Brown

You have no idea how true this clip really is until you have experienced end-users on a first hand basis and then trying to explain how to do something. Some are intuitive while others can be quite challenging like the end-user in the clip.

What I find interesting about tech support is that you use a lot of the same investigative techniques law enforcement uses. In fact I actually think a veteran techie would easily transitional into role of a police detective.

Steve Flowers

I just read a simple book on the subject of simple usability. I really recommend The author breaks users down into three groups:

  • Expert users (those willing to experiment and push your tools and products beyond bounds - they expect complexity and power)
  • Willing adopters (those willing to try what you're pushing and will tolerate new affordances)
  • Mainstream users (the largest group that spans the gamut between "needs handholding and super simplicity - easily confused" to "just wants it to be useful - is easily annoyed by excess complexity")

There's a balance. I aim for the reasonable middle (the 90%) and hope that human adaptability and common sense will help to resolve the top and bottom 5%. I really think expert users and the easily confused are the minority of my audience. There are quite a few that like to complain. But I figure that's part of the service of any solution group, to provide a small thing for folks to complain about (as long as it's not quality).

Bill Scott has some interesting things to say about idiomatic experiences. This relates to the new user confusion factor and why we've tended to stick with popular interaction patterns in eLearning (the back and next button are familiar to folks - minimizes confusion). Bill references definitions from Alan Cooper on types of interfaces:

  • Instinctive
  • Intuitive
  • Idiomatic

Good article.

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