How To Interface With The User: The Principle of Least Astonishment
Ever heard about the Principle of Least Astonishment (POLA) and the Law of Demeter? Well, if you are a designer and build user interfaces or construct workplaces combining software from multiple (often incompatible) applications into a “user experience”, you might be interested to read this! The primary intent of POLA is “People are part of the system. The design should match the user’s experience, expectations, and mental models“. It’s exactly this aspect what one can often see is largely underrated. The word “User Interface” is exactly what it means: Interface to the User! But we (not you and me but all the others ofcourse) often forget The User. We name him/her the User because we think he/she “Uses” our software. And just build the system the way we think it’s nice. The User should just accept that. We don’t like to ask him or her because that only might introduce “complaints” and “delay” to our work. So how nice would it become if designers were taught to develop according to the Technology Acceptance Model? And instead of develop for users that don’t have a “face”, develop for real people? And bury the word User, because it’s not users we want to interface with, but Humans! Transform from User Interface development to Human Interface development. It can be done if we are willing to take the time for it and spend the money for it. I wish you happy User Interfacing!