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RE: [agile-usability] Learning a new UI

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  • 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
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      >>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
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        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
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • 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 3 of 17 , Dec 4, 2005
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          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 4 of 17 , Dec 4, 2005
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            >>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 5 of 17 , Dec 7, 2005
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              --- 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 6 of 17 , Dec 9, 2005
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                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 7 of 17 , Dec 9, 2005
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                  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 8 of 17 , Dec 12, 2005
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                    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


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