We moved from visual perception and attention to issues related to cognition – specifically, memory and learning.
It should be clear by now that largely, what makes an interface intuitive is its ease of learning. The following concepts are important when it comes to ease of learning:
- information scent (information foraging theory – do make sure to read this excellent explanation of information scent)
- mental models
- affordances and constraints
- interface metaphors
Here’s Don Norman explaining affordances in less than 2 minutes:
All these things we know about visual perception and cognition are at the root of most guidelines for usable interface design. One of the most famous set of guidelines is Nielsen’s 10 heuristics, which we worked with in class. These heuristics can be used to inspect interfaces in a method called heuristic evaluation, which you will read about for next class.
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