Brian’s review of The Design of Everyday Things > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Brian (new)

Brian man really wish we allowed list tags or had some better markup....


message 2: by rivka (new)

rivka
If you need instructions for new user to operate, you're probably doing it wrong
This design philosophy probably works for hoi polloi. But for those of us who fall into the group an IT friend of mine calls "superusers", it's crap. I want to be able to customize all my settings, whether it's a word processor or a browser or a bookshelf! And once the defaults aren't enough, expecting that to be possible without instructions is unlikely to still be realistic.

Besides, some of us like manuals and tutorials -- at least if they're well-done.


message 3: by Otis (new)

Otis Chandler Great review Brian! Makes me want to re-read this - I remember loving it.

Rivka: I agree and disagree. I think for new users, Brians statement is accurate. You don't get instructions from Apple when you buy an iphone - it is just intuitive. BUT - for super-user features, having instructions is not a bad thing. My opinion is they should be built into the product though at the appropriate places, and not in a manual - nobody reads manuals.


message 4: by rivka (last edited May 04, 2012 11:34AM) (new)

rivka ← nobody

;)


message 5: by Brian (new)

Brian ah, i left out that he says once users become expert, they should be able to do things faster (example...use menus but allow hotkeys when they really know what they're doing). he believes superusers should also be able to become more efficient than new users, customize as they would...but hide most of that from new users cause they'll just get confused.

i still think he's right though...superusers shouldn't need a manual to customize experience either. i don't like unintuitive menus (see: TiVo) nor cryptic buttons or buttons that serve 10 different purposes depending on context

like my monitor at work has these up/down arrows to adjust things (first off, you can't read what the buttons are unless you look really really closely...it's black on black where the black is glossy)...but when you want to change the brightness, you push the down arrow to increase brightness and vice versa....because for some reason they decided the down arrow should be on the right, and then decided the slider on screen when you're adjusting the brightness should be left-right (brighter to the right). took me a while to figure that out...and then realize they tried to indicate it to you by saying:

brightness: ^/v: -/+

a) the 'instructions' shouldn't be necessary
b) they should actually be clear. i didn't realize the order mattered in that till after i figured out how to turn up brightness!


message 6: by Brian (new)

Brian I read manuals too. just read one for our refrigerator in fact. but still, that's usually an exercise in frustration because "no one reads the manual" so they don't bother making it readable.


message 7: by rivka (new)

rivka Brian wrote: "he believes superusers should also be able to become more efficient than new users, customize as they would...but hide most of that from new users cause they'll just get confused."

Agreed.

Brian wrote: "i don't like unintuitive menus (see: TiVo) nor cryptic buttons or buttons that serve 10 different purposes depending on context"

Also agreed.

But good manuals/tutorials have their place. I like the tutorials MS makes for many of the medium-advanced features of Office, for instance.


message 8: by Michael (last edited May 10, 2012 11:42AM) (new)

Michael Economy I HATE that iphones don't have a decent manual, I've owned one for four and a half years and i 'discover' new features from the TV commercials! thats the most round about way to educate your users.

Theres a lot of cool features that are totally non intuative, and the only way you learn about them is word of mouth! Case in point, using volume up to take photos.


message 9: by Otis (last edited May 10, 2012 02:51PM) (new)

Otis Chandler Cool - I didn't know you could use volume up!

I think its a 80/20 or 90/10 kind of thing. MOST things should be easy to figure out and self-explanatory. But not everything can be.


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