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Book: Don't make me think

Usability Product
  • Can an average person use your app without much trouble?

  • Don’t make the user think!

    • The purpose and interactions of a particular entity should be obviously clear.
      • Example: Buttons should have no ambiguity that they are clickable.
      • Example 2: Names/Text should be stupidly obvious what they point to.
    • Err or the side of extreme obviousness.
  • Eliminate question marks from the user’s minds

    • Example: Why doesn’t doing this work? How can I get to X?
    • Finding potential questions a user may have is a learned skill
  • If we can’t make something obvious (ex: because it’s new etc), make it self-explanatory.

  • Users use products very differently from how creators design it

  • #1 They scan. They don’t read.

    • They’re often looking for something/ exploring.
  • #2 They satisfice.

    • Sort of a mix of satisfaction + sufficient.
    • Since it’s cheap to go through a lot of options, users do so and pick one that satisfies what they’re looking for.
  • #2 Users muddle through without understanding the underlying tech

    • They often just don’t care. They have other things on their mind.
    • Make users feel like they get your app.
      • This will give them a feeling of comfort and cause them to come back.
  • Use conventions where possible

  • Clarity trumps consistency when you can gain a lot of clarity for sacrificing a bit of consistency

  • Use clear visual hierarchies

  • Avoid clutter by prioritising what captures the users attention.

  • Optimize for scanning

    • Ex: Clear headings, spaced and closer to their section
    • Use spaced lists more
    • Do not keep walls of text. Keep paragraphs small