Helpability

Michael Tsai:

And no matter how much easier the iPad might be, I don’t think it could overcome the increased difficulty of solving problems at a distance. There’s no way to do screen sharing to fix things or see what [my grandmother is] referring to, and with so many unlabeled icons and “invisible” gestures, communicating interface details via phone would likely be even more difficult than usual.

An interesting aspect of a product’s usability: if something goes wrong, how easy is it to help people?

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If you liked this, you'll love my book. It's called Designed for Use: Create Usable Interfaces for Applications and the Web. In it, I cover the whole design process, from user research and sketching to usability tests and A/B testing. But I don't just explain techniques, I also talk about concepts like discoverability, when and how to use animations, what we can learn from video games, and much more.

You can find out more about it (and order it directly, printed or as a DRM-free ebook) on the Pragmatic Programmers website. It's been translated to Chinese and Japanese.