www.ebbemunk.dkarrowHuge Systems – and why users perceive them as complicated

Huge Systems – and why users perceive them as complicated

This is an extract from an internal TDC testing conference presentation in March 2007. It is based on Don Norman's article "Cognitive Engineering", 1986 and his book "The Design of Everyday Things", 1988.

No feedback from the system to the designer

Figure 1

The users need:

In general the designer focuses at devices and architecture, while the users focus on tasks and processes.

The designer wants elegance

The designer always seems to aim for elegance in the internal design – expecting that the elegant and simple solution will be mirrored in the user interface.

But it is not necessarily so, at there need not be any connection between the user's understanding of the system through the user interface and the system's internal design. Figure 2

If you need to explain – then improve the design!

When you are working for a good design, then:

Roughly speaking: If the users demand for explanations then improve the design! Figure 3

Test as an early feedback in software development

In software testing there is a possibility to create some of the needed interaction:

Figure 4