Geek Speak

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Something that stood out to me this week was the psychology of learning and how humans learn your designs. Our job as designers is to make our systems as easy as possible for the human brain to learn. We can do this by using the following design guidelines:

  • Design with the users goals and tasks in mind and not with implementation or production in mind
  • Using vocabulary and terms that are simple and easy for the users to understand
  • Make errors hard to make and easy to undo
  • Show users when an error has occurred and give them enough feedback to know how to fix it
  • Keep the terminology consistent from screen to screen
  • Don’t overwhelm users with options
  • Reinforce the conceptual model of your application by consistent navigation and interactions
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By following these guidelines we ensure that users can navigate and learn our designs without becoming frustrated or devoting too much mental effort to learning the system. A good interface makes the computer disappear and allows the user to focus on completing a task rather than learn your design.

Sources: Designing with Mind in Mind - Johnson, Kaufmann 2010