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Matt Belge <[log in to unmask]>
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Matt Belge <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 31 May 2006 11:16:39 -0400
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Hi Eugene and Alex:
On May 31, Alex Grenow wrote: 

>>I agree with Eugene's point.  The earlier example I gave of do-it-yourself
>>tax preparation software fits the goal-oriented vs. control-oriented
>>dichotomy quite well.  Some people want to enter some numbers and be done,
>>while others want to play with the numbers to see different outcomes.  To
>>be able to navigate the complex structure of 1000's of pages
>>(corresponding to fields in 100's of IRS forms), just having the
>>opportunity to easily go from page to page will not do.  And once you give
>>users some sort of a site "map" or "index", you are exposing the structure
>>to them and are helping them build a mental model of it.

I completely agree with you. We need to respect that our users will have
different goals. And that they have the capacity to learn. Your tax example
is excellent. Its impossible for the designer to anticipate all the ways the
user might want to use this system. In this case, a good designer will try
to make some common paths through the system very obvious. And along the way
give the user enough info so they can learn more complex interactions on
their own , so they can make the system suit their own individual needs.
This is what good mental models are all about. Allowing the user to do
things in an open ended manner, but still have confidence they are doing the
right thing.

-matt belge

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