> From: Mike Beltzner [mailto:mike at beltzner.ca] > > In my experience, it's best to design primary interaction paths for > beginners, and then convince management that you can build a loyal > market by adding secondary (accelerator) interaction paths that speed > up someone's interaction with the product. Point to examples like > Ctrl+V ... everyone knows it means paste, but the primary way of > getting to paste is Edit > Paste. Still, nobody would buy a product > that doesn't support the secondary method, too.
I think this is a really good point. We need to point to the business
benefit of both initial-user-learnability and frequent-user-efficiency.
We seem to have won some battles in convincing business of the first goal. I
think part of the problem is the difficulty in running longitudinal
usability tests that would prove out the second goal. Most usability
techniques in practice are heavily biased towards intuitability and
first-impressions. Important, to be sure, but not the whole picture.
For instance, I've recently proposed some fairly tricky designs for my
current project that I *think* could provide high (to some level) efficiency
for some number (hopefully substantial) of users who eventually (not too
long I hope) would discover it. But I'm scared to death that they won't make
it past the usability test. As a matter of fact, I'm quite sure they
wouldn't be discovered in a normal usability test, even with some training
Throughout this project I've been noticing my own use of Outlook and
basically I learn a new feature almost every day (sometimes deliberately,
sometimes by accident). I expect this to go on for many more months.
So one question is how designers of complex apps can gather any reliable
e? This seems really to rub against the grain of rapid iteration.
Eugene Chen * UI Design Contractor
User Experience & Design, eBay inc.