Creating Intuitive User Interfaces: Understanding Mental Models

Your user probably doesn’t think about the problem the way you do. And, unless you take the time to find out how your users do think about the problem, you won’t have anything like an “intuitive” interface. Jared M. Spool defines “intuitive” as the gap between what knowledge the user has and what knowledge the application […]
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Creating Intuitive User Interfaces: Avoiding Affordances

Here’s a better way to think about how you can assemble a truly “intuitive” user interface. Listen, I’ve got some ink on my body but even I recognize that offering people free tattoos is going to lead to some regrettable decisions. In User eXperience design, we have a similar problem with the idea of “affordances”: […]
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Creating Intuitive User Interfaces: The Primacy of the Mental Model

“Intuitive” doesn’t have to be a buzzword. It can, instead, be a genuinely useful way of thinking about your UX design…provided you give “intuitive” a real meaning that begins with how your users think about their problems. The word “intuitive” gets tossed around a lot, but it’s often used without any real meaning.  Jef Raskin […]
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Designing the Steps in the User Interface for a Difficult Task

Breaking down a difficult task into bite-sized steps is a good first step to making a task simpler…but only if you build each step correctly. Here’s how to make a difficult process for your users into something much easier. In a previous column on creating user interfaces for difficult tasks, I discussed how a difficult task […]
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User Interface Design for Difficult Tasks

A well-designed user interface design can make even difficult tasks appear to be simple. And the good news is that creating that UI is not, itself, a difficult task. In fact, here’s how to do it. After users have completed some task, it’s easy to identify whether it was a “difficult task”: It’s one where […]
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