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RE: [agile-usability] Learning a new UI

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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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