Design rule #1: Don’t make me think

When was the last time you read the user manual of a newly bought vacuum cleaner? How many times did you watch the on-screen tutorial of a web app?

 

My guess is: ages ago, if ever.

 

dont make me thinkEver since IKEA has created text-free, culture-independent assembly ‘cartoons’, nobody ever wants to read overly detailed and complicated instructions. Also, it is not surprising that so-called ‘Plug & play’ devices, such as DVD players, gaming devices and other appliances are such a success.

 

This is even more relevant for web and digital gadgets; if it’s not intuitive, it fails. 

 

Which user will ever watch a tutorial to start using a product? The only place such reference materials may still have their place is the ‘Help’ section, but even there, if a user or customer has to resort to looking up this information, you may need to rethink your assumptions about clean and easy design. There is a famous book on web usability written by Steve Krug whose title tells is all: Don’t make me think!

 

There are no stupid users/customers, only bad interfaces.

 

 

user interface is like a joke

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