I suspect there will be a universal pattern just as soon as we've managed to ensure all people are identical :-).
posted 4 years ago
One pattern may be extreme. But is it possible to generate several patterns, in order to facilitate life, that when we want to design something, we can simply use it without much thinking, and it's quite appreciable by people?
Great question. I don't think there would be one pattern or set of patterns that can be applied to any situation. But that's why we need good designers who are well versed in how people think and behave. Some of what I discuss in Design for the Mind is that learning the principles of psychology can help you understand the underlying factors that lead to people using a product. Knowing these principles can then help you come up with workflows and design elements that facilitate ease of use. However, when we deal with humans, there will always be challenges and unknowns.
Personally, I think that's part of the beauty of design. The challenge of creating something that people will find useful and useable. One of the best ways to keep moving in this direction is through user research. Getting feedback on your design throughout the design process is critical to ending up with a good product. I think psychology and user research are powerful tools to help inform your design.
Victor Yocco wrote:However, when we deal with humans, there will always be challenges and unknowns.
Very true. In the past, it usually boiled down to people not reading the instructions they were given; but in this new world of smartphones and touch-screen "gestures", I suspect it has much more to do with "being intuitive" - or, as I call it, 'POLA²'.
And I hate to say, but as an old "structured" blowhard, I often find myself wishing for a command line when faced with a smartphone app that won't "do what I want it to".
"Leadership is nature's way of removing morons from the productive flow" - Dogbert
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