Jon Simpson

ignore the code: Chris Clark

2 Oct 2010

Interview about UX/UI design for iPhone/iPad with a nice discussion of process for prototyping. This part about language caught my attention:

Language is a trap: you have to avoid instructions or requests that will lead someone to the desired outcome. You see tests where a researcher says «OK, now how would you export this video to share it online?» so they search through the menus for the key words «export» and «share», and if they find either one of them they’re home free. Never mind that the majority of people in the real world might be looking for the words «upload» and «YouTube.» Using the language of the app to pose questions about the app – getting the subject to think the same way you think – is the antithesis of what you’re there for.

This tendency to explain the workings of an app or process in it’s own vocabulary tends to stunt the early experiences of those without a common frame of reference. Testing with people who have no pre-conceived experiences of both the target platform and problem domain strikes me as a good way to shallow the learning curve of an application.