motivating new learning - was Re: keyboard shortcuts + contextual menus

19 Jul 2006 - 9:13pm
8 years ago
3 replies
654 reads
Joshua Gross
2006

This is an interesting problem (regardless of whether or not you agree
about kb shortcuts) - at a certain point, learning comes to a
near-complete stop. It's another problem with the "Paradox of the
Active User" - once the user knows how to complete a task, he isn't
motivated to learn, and if he isn't motivated to learn, then
performance at a task will not improve.

I'd love to hear anyone's ideas about how interaction design might
motivate "advanced learning".

Thanks,
Josh

On Jul 19, 2006, at 11:52 AM, Juan Lanus wrote:

> In my experience shortcuts are more efficient than menus, provided
> that the user has the hands in the keyboard and that there are
> operations that repeat frequently.

Comments

20 Jul 2006 - 11:12am
gretchen anderson
2005

This is a product roadmap design challenge: Can you craft a suite of
products that people adopt as they grow into them? Think about graduating
from Garage Band to Logic when you become so proficient at making music you
are ready to go "pro".

Once someone is a "pro" the goal is really about accomplishing something,
not learning. You might bring new, related things to their attention to
learn, but don't make them keep learning something that's working for them
just to motivate them to learn.

On 7/19/06 7:13 PM, "Joshua Gross" <jgross at ist.psu.edu> wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> This is an interesting problem (regardless of whether or not you agree
> about kb shortcuts) - at a certain point, learning comes to a
> near-complete stop. It's another problem with the "Paradox of the
> Active User" - once the user knows how to complete a task, he isn't
> motivated to learn, and if he isn't motivated to learn, then
> performance at a task will not improve.
>
> I'd love to hear anyone's ideas about how interaction design might
> motivate "advanced learning".
>
> Thanks,
> Josh
>
> On Jul 19, 2006, at 11:52 AM, Juan Lanus wrote:
>
>> In my experience shortcuts are more efficient than menus, provided
>> that the user has the hands in the keyboard and that there are
>> operations that repeat frequently.
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
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Gretchen Anderson
Senior Design Analyst

frog design inc.
420 Bryant St.
San Francisco, CA 94107

Mobile: (415) 999-3347
Direct: (415) 489-2907

gretchen.anderson at frogdesign.com
http://www.frogdesign.com/

CONFIDENTIAL AND PROPRIETARY INFORMATION NOTICE:
The information contained in and/or attached to this e-mail is Confidential
and Proprietary Information of frog design Inc. and its operating companies
and subsidiaries. This information is intended only for the confidential use
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20 Jul 2006 - 4:17pm
Joshua Gross
2006

Actually, that's the Paradox of the Active User in a nutshell. Even
when they are novices, users are goal oriented. They rarely are willing
to engage in explicit learning processes, even as they begin use. Think
about it this way - how many people on this list have taken a course or
read a book on how to use a spreadsheet? I doubt I know more than 1/4
of Excel's functionality.

Being a power user shouldn't be about knowing keyboard shortcuts or
tricks, it should be about fully leveraging a tool's functionality. As
an example, I can do many things a carpenter can; nail, cut wood, etc.
However, no one would mistake me for a carpenter after watching me for
30 seconds. Unfortunately, this concept of "unbounded practice" hasn't
translated nearly as well into software use.

So once the user can accomplish their goal, learning ceases completely
(or nearly so). How do we incentivize continued learning? This is
actually an important question, although perhaps design is the wrong
area to look for an answer. Usability is explicitly concerned with
producing effective user interfaces, so UE may be a better part of the
equation to answer this question. Still, I remain unconvinced that
design can't offer guidance here.

-Josh

On Jul 20, 2006, at 12:12 PM, gretchen anderson wrote:

>
> This is a product roadmap design challenge: Can you craft a suite of
> products that people adopt as they grow into them? Think about
> graduating
> from Garage Band to Logic when you become so proficient at making
> music you
> are ready to go "pro".
>
> Once someone is a "pro" the goal is really about accomplishing
> something,
> not learning. You might bring new, related things to their attention to
> learn, but don't make them keep learning something that's working for
> them
> just to motivate them to learn.
>
>
> On 7/19/06 7:13 PM, "Joshua Gross" <jgross at ist.psu.edu> wrote:
>
>> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
>> material.]
>>
>> This is an interesting problem (regardless of whether or not you agree
>> about kb shortcuts) - at a certain point, learning comes to a
>> near-complete stop. It's another problem with the "Paradox of the
>> Active User" - once the user knows how to complete a task, he isn't
>> motivated to learn, and if he isn't motivated to learn, then
>> performance at a task will not improve.
>>
>> I'd love to hear anyone's ideas about how interaction design might
>> motivate "advanced learning".
>>
>> Thanks,
>> Josh
>>
>> On Jul 19, 2006, at 11:52 AM, Juan Lanus wrote:
>>
>>> In my experience shortcuts are more efficient than menus, provided
>>> that the user has the hands in the keyboard and that there are
>>> operations that repeat frequently.
>>
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
>> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
>> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
>> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
>> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
>> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
>> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>>
>
>
> Gretchen Anderson
> Senior Design Analyst
>
> frog design inc.
> 420 Bryant St.
> San Francisco, CA 94107
>
> Mobile: (415) 999-3347
> Direct: (415) 489-2907
>
> gretchen.anderson at frogdesign.com
> http://www.frogdesign.com/
>
> CONFIDENTIAL AND PROPRIETARY INFORMATION NOTICE:
> The information contained in and/or attached to this e-mail is
> Confidential
> and Proprietary Information of frog design Inc. and its operating
> companies
> and subsidiaries. This information is intended only for the
> confidential use
> of the person(s) designated above. If this message has reached a
> person or
> persons not designated above, you are hereby notified that you have
> received
> this document in error and that any review, dissemination,
> distribution or
> copying of this message is strictly prohibited. If you are not a
> designated
> recipient, please notify frog design Inc. immediately by reply e-mail
> and
> delete the original message together with any and all attachments.
>

20 Jul 2006 - 5:33pm
Peter Bagnall
2003

Why bother teaching users more stuff?

If they are achieving their goals, great, the design works. Why do we
feel a need to force them to become power users when their current
level of knowledge is meeting their needs? I'd argue maybe we don't.

If it's a tool they use every day then they may decide they'd like to
learn to do it a bit more efficiently - ok so we provide mechanisms
that perhaps require more knowledge or skill (like keyboard shortcuts).
The trade-off here is "learning effort" versus "ongoing effort". For a
tool only used occasionally the learning effort is waste of time. So
quite sensibly users won't bother. And given the effort required to
remember shortcuts, for many people the learning effort is never worth
it. Fine. We should allow users to decide where to make that trade-off
for themselves.

At the end of the day, we should be most concerned about people
achieving their goals, not developing mastery of the technology. In
fact, if they can achieve their goals without having to achieve mastery
then I think we've done a better job.

Users will take on as much complexity as they are comfortable with. I'm
all for providing alternative command vectors for power users, but I
just don't think we need to worry too much about making everyone a
power user. Some people really don't want to be. And they certainly
don't want to have to be.

--Pete

On 20 Jul 2006, at 22:17, Joshua Gross wrote:
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> Actually, that's the Paradox of the Active User in a nutshell. Even
> when they are novices, users are goal oriented. They rarely are willing
> to engage in explicit learning processes, even as they begin use. Think
> about it this way - how many people on this list have taken a course or
> read a book on how to use a spreadsheet? I doubt I know more than 1/4
> of Excel's functionality.
>
> Being a power user shouldn't be about knowing keyboard shortcuts or
> tricks, it should be about fully leveraging a tool's functionality. As
> an example, I can do many things a carpenter can; nail, cut wood, etc.
> However, no one would mistake me for a carpenter after watching me for
> 30 seconds. Unfortunately, this concept of "unbounded practice" hasn't
> translated nearly as well into software use.
>
> So once the user can accomplish their goal, learning ceases completely
> (or nearly so). How do we incentivize continued learning? This is
> actually an important question, although perhaps design is the wrong
> area to look for an answer. Usability is explicitly concerned with
> producing effective user interfaces, so UE may be a better part of the
> equation to answer this question. Still, I remain unconvinced that
> design can't offer guidance here.
>
> -Josh
>
> On Jul 20, 2006, at 12:12 PM, gretchen anderson wrote:
>
>>
>> This is a product roadmap design challenge: Can you craft a suite of
>> products that people adopt as they grow into them? Think about
>> graduating
>> from Garage Band to Logic when you become so proficient at making
>> music you
>> are ready to go "pro".
>>
>> Once someone is a "pro" the goal is really about accomplishing
>> something,
>> not learning. You might bring new, related things to their attention
>> to
>> learn, but don't make them keep learning something that's working for
>> them
>> just to motivate them to learn.
>>
>>
>> On 7/19/06 7:13 PM, "Joshua Gross" <jgross at ist.psu.edu> wrote:
>>
>>> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
>>> material.]
>>>
>>> This is an interesting problem (regardless of whether or not you
>>> agree
>>> about kb shortcuts) - at a certain point, learning comes to a
>>> near-complete stop. It's another problem with the "Paradox of the
>>> Active User" - once the user knows how to complete a task, he isn't
>>> motivated to learn, and if he isn't motivated to learn, then
>>> performance at a task will not improve.
>>>
>>> I'd love to hear anyone's ideas about how interaction design might
>>> motivate "advanced learning".
>>>
>>> Thanks,
>>> Josh
>>>
>>> On Jul 19, 2006, at 11:52 AM, Juan Lanus wrote:
>>>
>>>> In my experience shortcuts are more efficient than menus, provided
>>>> that the user has the hands in the keyboard and that there are
>>>> operations that repeat frequently.
>>>
>>> ________________________________________________________________
>>> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
>>> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
>>> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
>>> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
>>> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
>>> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
>>> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
>>> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
>>> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>>>
>>
>>
>> Gretchen Anderson
>> Senior Design Analyst
>>
>> frog design inc.
>> 420 Bryant St.
>> San Francisco, CA 94107
>>
>> Mobile: (415) 999-3347
>> Direct: (415) 489-2907
>>
>> gretchen.anderson at frogdesign.com
>> http://www.frogdesign.com/
>>
>> CONFIDENTIAL AND PROPRIETARY INFORMATION NOTICE:
>> The information contained in and/or attached to this e-mail is
>> Confidential
>> and Proprietary Information of frog design Inc. and its operating
>> companies
>> and subsidiaries. This information is intended only for the
>> confidential use
>> of the person(s) designated above. If this message has reached a
>> person or
>> persons not designated above, you are hereby notified that you have
>> received
>> this document in error and that any review, dissemination,
>> distribution or
>> copying of this message is strictly prohibited. If you are not a
>> designated
>> recipient, please notify frog design Inc. immediately by reply e-mail
>> and
>> delete the original message together with any and all attachments.
>>
>
>
> ________________________________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Association (IxDA)!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixda.org
> List Guidelines ............ http://listguide.ixda.org/
> List Help .................. http://listhelp.ixda.org/
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://subscription-options.ixda.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixda.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixda.org
> Home ....................... http://ixda.org/
> Resource Library ........... http://resources.ixda.org
>
>
----------------------------------------------------------
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presence of natural beauty and grandeur, is the cradle of
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individual, but which society could ill do without.
- John Stuart Mill, 1806 - 1873

Peter Bagnall - http://people.surfaceeffect.com/pete/

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