RE: (Summary) Ease-of-use: Efficiency vsIntuitiveness

28 Nov 2004 - 10:24pm
660 reads
Dave Malouf

This idea of trying to adopt definitions to fit our colloquial needs is very
problematic. I think it is a symptom of a discipline trying desparately to
find itself, when in reality is right there in front of you.

The reason we can't seem to find ourselves is that we are like a new
swimming student tredding water. We know the strokes, but we can't get them
down quite right. This is the same thing we are going through in our
day-to-day. We know what we have to articulate to those around us, but we
just can't communicate it effectively. Part of this is because we can't be
consistent in our use of terms.

The worse thing we have every done to our own cause in the UX world is when
we started using the specific words to encompass generic ideas, but still
continued to use the same terms to mean the specific things they were
derived to mean AND these are jargony statements to begin with that quite
often do no translate outside of english. I'm specifically referring to
"usability" and "information architecture" (the latter less so).

But when I hear someone try to say that "intuitive", "efficient",
"effective" should have different more generic meanings in our space, it
really upsets me.
Intuition is about pre-learning, so it can't be equated to "learnable". If I
use my "intuition" to do something it means that it didn't require anything
to learn. Efficiency, is efficiency ... Effectiveness:effort derived.
Effective is about end result.

-- dave

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