SIGIA-L Mail Archives: RE: [Sigia-l] Skill based interfaces (was Coat Hanger Usability)
RE: [Sigia-l] Skill based interfaces (was Coat Hanger Usability)
At 23:44 01/03/2004, you wrote:
> >>It seems like people quickly forget the extensive period of instruction
> >>that goes into driving a car: this is not an example of a seamless system
> >>- if it were truly "usable" we wouldn't need the extensive series of
> >>licensing procedures & penalties that exist around the world, nor would
> >>the automobile be amongst the deadliest man-made machines in the world.
> >Only if 'usable' means intuitive - which to me it does not.
>That's because you're specializing in a relatively narrow user profile.
As with most problems like this user profile I feel is the wrong
description - it's is more of a task profile. The user profile you will
find is incredibly broad here - the task profile is relatively narrow.
>Usable does not mean intuitive for BMWs or guitars because they are the
>equivalent of 'power users'.
Never did like that term. I consider it more a vital task, one any user
will repeat many times and must be able to do it with the minimal
interference, so to speak.
>Intuitiveness that that user profile takes a
>back seat to performance efficiency. What you're calling a skills-based
>interface is more aptly considered one targeted to power users.
The danger you have with using user profiles here is the user will have
different levels of skill but still require a constant and near invisible
interface - but, as with a guitar and car - the feel if needs to be right.
>But the larger group in most situations tends to be less-experienced users
>or novices. Intuitiveness can be regarded as the default 'best practice',
>unless it interferes with performance for power users.
The terms novice and power users I would consider dangerous. Users are
never one consistent level. If you think in terms of novice and power users
you end up with the mess that are Microsoft interfaces where you end up
with wizards that try to protect you from the stuff you don't know and
menus that hide the stuff you need to see whilst providing next to no
assistance when you get into the heart of the program. Instead of making
the interface clearer Microsoft add layers of help making the interface
more complex, the paperclip being the best example.
This may be controversial but I consider the average profile of mass use
devices requires you to accept that the novice user and the power user are
often one and the same person, often at the same time.
I'd like to explore this more and go into detail why I think task mapping
in it's various forms is far more important to an IA than card sorting but
I have to go to work. I also think it's a seperate thread.
When replying, please *trim your post* as much as possible.
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: Tue Mar 02 2004 - 08:00:26 EST