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ACM SIGCHI WWW Human Factors (Open Discussion)

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Date:
Mon, 22 May 2006 18:22:54 -0500
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Bill Abel <[log in to unmask]>
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Bill Abel <[log in to unmask]>
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I agree. You can't keep someone from having to learn the system, you  
can merely make the task easier. Take for example the NYC Transit  
system. It's easy to learn to use it. You can actually learn to use  
it by just watching other people - however, asking a few questions  
can give you more insight. Having a map will allow you to plan your  
ride. Learning to read the time tables will let you schedule your  
trip accurately more or less. The information design system is for  
the most part invisible. That's a sign of great design.

Application interfaces should perform in a similar way - they should  
become invisible with use - but at first, they should be easy to  
learn. A question or two should help discover details. A manual would  
help someone master a complex interface.

Names, colors, shape, size - all of these things are visual queues as  
to where you are, and where you are going. Together they create an  
information system. Design systems make things easier to learn  
whether it be a transit system or computer application.

Bill

On May 22, 2006, at 2:15 PM, Katie Albers wrote:

> You aren't going to design a perfect interface that is perfectly  
> usable by everyone. Sooner or later, someone will ask another user  
> a question about something.

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