What is "intuitive" or "nearly automatic" or "reflex
action" to a geek is not the same as what is such to a
If your boss complains about a web functionality you
designed being "not intuitive enough", does your boss
mean that neophytes may not understand how to use it?
If you think it is sufficiently "intuitive", does this
mean that you, with all your web experience and tech
savvy, can interact with it easily?
If a web site is by designers and for designers, wild
innovation and anti-conventional widgets may be
appropriate, even demanded by such tech users.
But if a web site is for less skilled and less
experienced users, as most probably are, then a
"near-intuitive" interface, one that doesn't require a
steep learning curve, is generally most appropriate.
This is well known. But what we need to remember is
that users, even savvy ones, are in a big hurry.
Very rarely are users in a casual, unrushed, leisurely
mode. They want fast functions, fast information, fast
It's not that users are stupid, so much as that they
are in a big hurry. They race through sites and pages,
as fast as they are skilled in navigation practice.
Nothing is "intuitive" (guessable, automatic) to a
brand new user, who knows nothing about computers or
web sites. Watch one. They sit there dumbfounded.
Scared to even touch anything. But with a little
couching, or by stumbling around, they begin to
acquire skill and knowledge of interface operations,
navigation, error recovery, etc.
As user gain skill and knowledge, they gain in
"intuitive" responses to familiar or similar widgets
Users begin to expect some continuity between sites.
Very rarely does a new automobile arrive in
dealerships requiring drivers to learn a whole new set
of skills just to operate the car.