Join Chris Nodder for an in-depth discussion in this video Designing around human limitations, part of Interaction Design for the Web.
- First, let's discuss some built-in limitations with how people's brains work. Once you know these, you can work around them. In this chapter, we'll talk about how bad people's memory is, how poor we are at multitasking, and how easily distracted we are. It's actually amazing that humans manage to function at all. The reason we can is that we've developed coping mechanisms. If you include those coping mechanisms in your product, you'll help users complete their tasks. If you make users think, they'll find it painful to work with your product.
Those coping mechanisms include things like carrying information between screens or applications rather than making users remember it, letting users choose from a list or display rather than remembering a command or name, introducing new concepts during lean back pauses, presenting answers rather than making users do sums, helping memory and navigation by telling a story in the user's language. It boils down to this: people are really bad at remembering things and at doing sums.
On the other hand, computers are really good at, you guessed it, remembering things and doing sums. So, if you take every opportunity to remember customers' information and present them with results rather than with work to do, they'll thank you for it. The rest of the videos in this chapter go into more detail about the various coping mechanisms, so that you can really understand them and apply them in your work.
- Designing around human limitations
- Telling stories
- How we group the things we see
- Making standard and consistent interfaces
- Smart defaults
- Reducing system latency and communicating during delays
- Making error messages into useful dialogs
- Designing for delight