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Design in the Post-PC Era
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The New Era of (Non-) Discoverability

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Some thoughts on discoverability and learnability. A talk given at MOBX 2011 in Berlin.

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The New Era of (Non-) Discoverability

  1. 1. Nothing you can see that isn't shown... The Beatles “All You Need is Love”
  2. 2. Tap to Launch Turn off screen Press and Hold to Move or Delete Screen Shot Take Screen Shot Drag Icon Onto Another Icon to Make Folder Slide for Next/Previous/Search Screen Double-Click to Reveal Active Apps Return to Home or Stop Moving Mode Press and Hold for Voice (Siri)
  3. 3. Affordances? NEIN!
  4. 4. Interaction design...can be thought WTF? of in part as providing AFFORDANCES so that the features and functionality of a product can be discovered and correctly used. Dan Saffer Designing for Interaction (2009)
  5. 5. The New Era of (Non) Discoverability Dan Saffer @odannyboy
  6. 6. DISCOVERABILITY is the ability to detect a feature by its AFFORDANCES or VISUAL CUES.
  7. 7. DISCOVERABILITY Object with Affordance Button and Label Object with Label Object without Affordance or Label Label Only Nothing
  8. 8. DISCOVERABILITY Mainframe Command Line GUI Post-PC Physical Controls Keyboard Mouse and Stylus Touch Gesture Voice
  9. 9. The more important the task, the more DISCOVERABLE it should be.
  10. 10. The Top Three kinds of features that should be DISCOVERABLE (via Scott Berkun):
  11. 11. 1.Things most people do, most often. 2. Things most people do, somewhat often. 3. Things some people do, most often.
  12. 12. HOWEVER: In almost any UI, not everything is going to be DISCOVERABLE. Not. Going. To. Happen.
  13. 13. Why ever hide ANYTHING? 1. Screen Real Estate 2. Emphasis 3. Aesthetics
  14. 14. Operational Simplicity v. Perceived Simplicity
  15. 15. PROGRESSIVE DISCLOSURE
  16. 16. More DISCOVERABLE = More INTUITIVE ? NEIN!
  17. 17. DISCOVERABLE is what can be FOUND. INTUITIVE is what can be LEARNED.
  18. 18. If a control isn’t DISCOVERABLE, it should at least be LEARNABLE.
  19. 19. Discoverability Expected Ease of Learning Mainframe Command Line GUI Post-PC
  20. 20. Discoverability Expectation of Ease Learnability Mainframe Command Line GUI Post-PC
  21. 21. As DISCOVERABILITY declines, the ability to LEARN how a product works should rise to accommodate for it.
  22. 22. The CELLO PRINCIPLE
  23. 23. A LEARNABLE UI is one where users can make a MENTAL MODEL of it easily.
  24. 24. A LEARNABLE UI is also one where interactions build on one another.
  25. 25. The RULES are understood and logically applied across the system.
  26. 26. How do you make non-discoverable UIs LEARNABLE?
  27. 27. Coach Marks? NEIN!
  28. 28. NO ONE wants an owners’ manual for a mobile app.
  29. 29. If [an app] needs to be explained, then it’s probably broken. Khoi Vinh
  30. 30. Users need INFORMATION to make decisions: information about what they can do.
  31. 31. Without affordances or labels, users only have their memories to rely on.
  32. 32. Without information, users are left to their own methods:
  33. 33. 1. Not doing it 2. Work arounds 3. Looking for help 4. TRYING RANDOM SHIT
  34. 34. The penalty for experimenting should be NONE.
  35. 35. If (Expectation != Outcome) { Learning; }
  36. 36. Make controls for low-frequency tasks GUESSABLE.
  37. 37. NEVER make an essential task gesture- or voice only...unless it is rapidly LEARNABLE.
  38. 38. For high-priority tasks: use gestures and voice as shortcuts, while providing visible controls to do the same thing.
  39. 39. TWO-PLY PRODUCTS: Visible controls for DISCOVERABLE high-priority tasks Gestural/voice LEARNABLE shortcuts for high- priority tasks, guessable controls for low-priority tasks
  40. 40. Come for the DISCOVERABLE, stay for the LEARNABLE.
  41. 41. DANKE. THANKS. dan@odannyboy.com @odannyboy on twitter

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