Facts, Thoughts and Opinions

Navigation replaces recall with recognition

Navigation replaces recall with recognition: Instead of forcing users to come up with a complex search query, they can recall only a minimum and then use recognition to augment their query with relevant terms.

Personality Traits of a Good UX Designer

Humility - You must be able to put your wants and needs aside to focus on the wants and needs of the users. What you think is not as important as obtaining a collective opinion of your users.

Empathy - You must be able to put yourself in the user’s place and see things as the user would see them. Just because you are familiar with using something a certain way, doesn't mean everyone else is too. Being empathetic towards your users is an important factor when trying to determine their needs.

Advocacy - You must support and stand up for the views of the user and be a voice for the needs of the user.

Understanding of Psychology - You must be more concerned about why something is being done rather than how it is done.

Organization - You must be able to distinguish organizational structures and patterns out of information and arrange it in a way that creates solutions with the least amount of friction across all users.

Principles of Good UX Design

  1. Get out of the way.
  2. Establish clear goals.
  3. Determine user needs.
  4. Create a hierarchy that matches the needs.
  5. Minimize distractions.
  6. Lead the user to the destination.
  7. Create a path of least resistance.
  8. Use context clues.
  9. Be consistent.
  10. Pay attention to detail.

Why Search Is Not Enough

Search requires knowledge of the search space. In order to formulate a good search query users need to know fairly well what they are searching for. They need to understand the search space and put in the right keywords.

Search increases memory load. Search requires users to recall information from their memory. To come up with a meaningful query, a user must think about attributes that are relevant for his goal and incorporate them in the query. Navigation replaces recall with recognition: Users can recall only a minimum and then use recognition to augment their query with relevant terms.

Search has higher interaction cost than browsing. Search forces users to work more because not only must they come up with a query, but they also must type it.

Site search often works poorly. Even if users are able to come up with a reasonable search string, chances are that the results returned will often be irrelevant. Specialized sites usually do not have the complex algorithms and huge database that big search engines have. Also, most site searches are not well equipped to accommodate typos and abbreviations.

Users have poor search skills and don't know how search works. For example, users, accustomed to the tolerance given by large search engines, tend to expect natural-language searches to work on smaller sites.


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Icon Usability 2014-09-08