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RE: [agile-usability] Learning a new UI

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  • shel kimen
    ... Ouch. I mean, really. Makes me so sad. Anyway, thanks for the story. ./s
    Message 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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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