Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

RE: [agile-usability] Learning a new UI

Expand Messages
  • shel kimen
    ... Mac UI That s fascinating. What happened with the test? Did you ever get any post-test feedback? ./s
    Message 1 of 17 , Dec 4, 2005
    • 0 Attachment

      >>We were tasked to deliberately design a UI that was unlike Windows or the Mac UI

       

      That’s fascinating. What happened with the test? Did you ever get any post-test feedback?

       

      ./s

    • Larry Constantine
      ... were ... integrated ... complete ... to ... UI. Intriguing technique. It reminds me of an issue in testing novel designs. A team I have been working with
      Message 2 of 17 , Dec 4, 2005
      • 0 Attachment
        Jim wrote:

        > Several years ago I helped design a computerized version of a nation-wide
        > academic test. We were tasked to deliberately design a UI that was unlike
        > Windows or the Mac UI, to avoid giving an advantage to participants who
        were
        > computer-proficient. The test began with a sample session with an
        integrated
        > tutorial, which gave extra assistance to users who were struggling to
        complete
        > the sample tasks. The tutorial was mastery-based, so users could not go on
        to
        > the test itself until they had demonstrated an acceptable mastery of the
        UI.

        Intriguing technique. It reminds me of an issue in testing novel designs. A
        team I have been working with devised some very novel and potentially highly
        efficient new interaction techniques for a production environment. No claim
        to intuitability is being made; the primary design driver is user efficiency
        and reliable interaction. The only way to reasonably test such features for
        usability is to pre-train users with the basic technique (keeping track of
        how much it takes to gain a certain proficiency) before testing in context.

        --Larry Constantine, IDSA
        > -----Original Message-----
        > From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
        [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
        > Of Jim Kauffman
        > Sent: Sunday, 04 December 2005 9:11 AM
        > To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: RE: [agile-usability] Learning a new UI
        >
        > > -----Original Message-----
        > > From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
        > > [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Larry
        > > Constantine
        > > Sent: Saturday, December 03, 2005 4:00 PM
        > > To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
        > > Subject: RE: [agile-usability] Learning a new UI
        > >
        > > The elevator-speech condensation is that the user must
        > > recognize novel elements as such, actively engage in
        > > anticipating (guessing) behavior, and immediately try out and
        > > confirm the anticipation. The result is stable persistent
        > > learning without further practice.
        >
        >
        >
        > Jim K.
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • Larry Constantine
        Randy wrote: ... may just ... something, ... This, I believe, was the rationale for the Dvorak keyboard, which probably means the issues aren t that simple.
        Message 3 of 17 , Dec 4, 2005
        • 0 Attachment
          Randy wrote:
          =====
          > But if you base your designs on this alone, is there not a danger that you
          may just
          > perpetuating existing second-rate design? Just because we all know
          something,
          > and do it, doesn't mean there may not be a better way, wouldn't you agree?

          This, I believe, was the rationale for the Dvorak keyboard, which probably
          means the issues aren't that simple.
          =====

          Yes, well the Dvorak keyboard story so often cited is instructive in this
          regard. The Dvorak keyboard layout is indeed more efficient in the hands of
          a fully-trained user, but for most accomplished QWERTY typists, the very
          modest gain is not worth the massive hours of retraining to get back up to
          where they were. (As a 35 wpm hunt-and-peck typist in my 30s, I decided to
          learn touch typing. It took nearly 6 months for me to get up to the same
          speed without peeking.) Dvorak users also report difficulty when confronted
          with a QWERTY layout, which is far more common.

          The lesson is that we must always look at the big-picture systems
          implications, not just raw efficiency or instantaneous intuitability. My
          view as a designer is that non-standard designs need to be a LOT better AND
          easily learned to justify departing from well established convention,
          particularly where users have invested heavily in learning the old way.

          --Larry Constantine, IDSA
        • Jim Kauffman
          No, we weren t given any feedback, but the high school students who tried the UI rated it easy to learn and use . One out of ten participants had some trouble
          Message 4 of 17 , Dec 4, 2005
          • 0 Attachment
            No, we weren't given any feedback, but the high school students who tried the UI rated it "easy to learn and use". One out of ten participants had some trouble with it, but she had never used a computer or played a video game. Unfortunately, her verdict was "it's easy to use--I'm just stupid."
             
            Jim K.


            From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of shel kimen
            Sent: Sunday, December 04, 2005 9:34 AM
            To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: RE: [agile-usability] Learning a new UI

            >>We were tasked to deliberately design a UI that was unlike Windows or the Mac UI

             

            That’s fascinating. What happened with the test? Did you ever get any post-test feedback?

             

          • shel kimen
            ... Ouch. I mean, really. Makes me so sad. Anyway, thanks for the story. ./s
            Message 5 of 17 , Dec 4, 2005
            • 0 Attachment

              >>Unfortunately, her verdict was "it's easy to use--I'm just stupid."

               

              Ouch. I mean, really. Makes me so sad. Anyway, thanks for the story. ./s

               

               

            • Jeff Patton
              ... that you ... know ... you agree? ... probably ... in this ... hands of ... very ... back up to ... This seems similar in direction to an article in UX
              Message 6 of 17 , Dec 7, 2005
              • 0 Attachment
                --- In agile-usability@yahoogroups.com, "Larry Constantine"
                <lconstantine@f...> wrote:
                >
                > Randy wrote:
                > =====
                > > But if you base your designs on this alone, is there not a danger
                that you
                > may just
                > > perpetuating existing second-rate design? Just because we all
                know
                > something,
                > > and do it, doesn't mean there may not be a better way, wouldn't
                you agree?
                >
                > This, I believe, was the rationale for the Dvorak keyboard, which
                probably
                > means the issues aren't that simple.
                > =====
                >
                > Yes, well the Dvorak keyboard story so often cited is instructive
                in this
                > regard. The Dvorak keyboard layout is indeed more efficient in the
                hands of
                > a fully-trained user, but for most accomplished QWERTY typists, the
                very
                > modest gain is not worth the massive hours of retraining to get
                back up to
                > where they were.....

                This seems similar in direction to an article in UX magazine [volume
                4, issue 4] I just received. The article was on "how financial
                markets value user experience" and explained a simple model for
                change adoption. Change liklihood = f(crisis vs. perceived pain of
                adoption).

                It's not /exactly/ the same thing - but it seems a simple idea to
                keep in mind when proposing any new and better way of doing anything:
                The person using the new thing will likely evaluate the
                cost/annoyance of learning a new thing [pain of adoption] against the
                cost/annoyance of using something familiar [crisis]. If the current
                crisis is high, you can expect users will be more willing to learn.
                With the QUERTY vs. DVORAK thing, the current "crisis" just isn't
                compelling enough to justify change.

                Back to Tobias' original question/comment: "good UI design is not
                necessarily instantly intuitive. Users need to be taught a new UI;
                the trick is to teach them only once. On second and subsequent uses
                the UI should be intuitive."

                The one absolute truth about good UI is that there are no absolute
                truths aboug good UI.

                We all know that it always depends. Is the user in a position
                they /can/ get taught/be trained? Will there /be/ a second use?
                [especially if they're frustrated with the first] How long between
                the first use and the second use? What's the expected frequency of
                use?

                I think it's true to say that good UI design does not need to be
                inuitive - rather it needs to fit its context of use. Software used
                frequently by users in a context where effeciency matters may not
                need to be intuitive - at least that isn't the most important
                factor.

                The second part of the comment went towards memorability - how easy
                is it to remember how to use the system after using it once or
                twice. Again - depends on context of use. We'd hope the software
                would support the task well enough that even if the UI wasn't
                intutive that the effectiveness of support for the task made it
                memorable. But, suppose it wasn't. Suppose it took lots of practice
                and instruction to use well, to remember how to use. Say as much
                practice as a musical instrument or 3D modeling software... that
                wouldn't be so bad.

                Coming full circle, it's a function of the pain the user is in
                without the software and the pain of learning the new stuff. Any
                statements about intuitability, learnability, or memorability need to
                be considered in that context. Dogmatically saying all software
                needs to be intuitable isn't necessarily user-centric.

                Thanks,

                -Jeff
              • Jared M. Spool
                Sorry I m chiming in late on this. It s been a long week and I m just catching up on messages now. ... Actually, a sucking on mother s nipple is innate , not
                Message 7 of 17 , Dec 9, 2005
                • 0 Attachment
                  Sorry I'm chiming in late on this. It's been a long week and I'm just
                  catching up on messages now.

                  At 11:43 AM 12/3/2005, Jon Meads wrote:
                  >A good quote I once heard was that "The only thing that is intuitive is a
                  >mother's nipple, everything else is learned."

                  Actually, a sucking on mother's nipple is "innate", not "intuitive."

                  >When someone talks about an intuitive UI, they are talking about a UI that
                  >matches the user's previous expereinces so well that it is easily and
                  >quickly recognizable in terms of affordance and navigation. And,
                  >understanding what they would be means understanding the users very well
                  >-- which means taking the time to identify who the users are and study them.

                  I wrote an article about this. You can find it here:
                  http://www.uie.com/articles/design_intuitive/

                  Hope this helps,

                  Jared


                  Jared M. Spool, Founding Principal, User Interface Engineering
                  4 Lookout Lane, Unit 4d, Middleton, MA 01949
                  978 777-9123 jspool@... http://www.uie.com
                  Blog: http://www.uie.com/brainsparks
                • Jared M. Spool
                  ... Hee. Wrote about this too: http://www.uie.com/articles/embraceable_change/ Jared Jared M. Spool, Founding Principal, User Interface Engineering 4 Lookout
                  Message 8 of 17 , Dec 9, 2005
                  • 0 Attachment
                    At 02:41 PM 12/3/2005, Jon Meads wrote:
                    >There are costs in making changes and
                    >costs in staying as is. This is one reason why usability engineers often
                    >look towards having usability objectives and goals specified as part of the
                    >project charter.

                    Hee. Wrote about this too: http://www.uie.com/articles/embraceable_change/

                    Jared


                    Jared M. Spool, Founding Principal, User Interface Engineering
                    4 Lookout Lane, Unit 4d, Middleton, MA 01949
                    978 777-9123 jspool@... http://www.uie.com
                    Blog: http://www.uie.com/brainsparks
                  • Jade Ohlhauser
                    I enjoyed that one, thanks Jared Jade Ohlhauser Product Manager RPM Software www.rpmsoftware.com 403-265-6727 x704
                    Message 9 of 17 , Dec 12, 2005
                    • 0 Attachment
                      I enjoyed that one, thanks Jared
                       
                      Jade Ohlhauser
                      Product Manager
                      RPM Software                                 
                      www.rpmsoftware.com 403-265-6727 x704
                       


                      From: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com [mailto:agile-usability@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jared M. Spool
                      Sent: Friday, December 09, 2005 10:21 PM
                      To: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
                      Cc: agile-usability@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: RE: [agile-usability] Learning a new UI

                      Sorry I'm chiming in late on this. It's been a long week and I'm just
                      catching up on messages now.

                      At 11:43 AM 12/3/2005, Jon Meads wrote:
                      >A good quote I once heard was that "The only thing that is
                      intuitive is a
                      >mother's nipple, everything else is
                      learned."

                      Actually, a sucking on mother's nipple is "innate", not "intuitive."

                      >When someone talks about an intuitive UI, they are
                      talking about a UI that
                      >matches the user's previous expereinces so well
                      that it is easily and
                      >quickly recognizable in terms of affordance and
                      navigation. And,
                      >understanding what they would be means understanding
                      the users very well
                      >-- which means taking the time to identify who the
                      users are and study them.

                      I wrote an article about this. You can find it here:
                      http://www.uie.com/articles/design_intuitive/

                      Hope this helps,

                      Jared


                      Jared M. Spool, Founding Principal, User Interface Engineering
                      4 Lookout Lane, Unit 4d, Middleton, MA 01949
                      978 777-9123   jspool@...  http://www.uie.com
                      Blog: http://www.uie.com/brainsparks


                    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.