© 2012 Julian Jimenez Monkey in Maysore

UX

Today, all was about User Experience (UX) and usability. If you don’t know what I am talking about, try to picture yourself entering a complex building you haven’t been before filled up with multiple signs, complex devices and magic tricks. Despite being completely new to you, you know how it works and you feel you have been there before. You walk towards one door with an sign on it that looks like a woman, you open the door and you find it is the women’s toilet. Nothing new, it is exactly what you were expecting. You see another door that says library and when you try to get in you read the sign “Member’s only”. No problem, it seems to be a simple question of going outside the building, filling in few forms and they will give you a member card. When you are going out to complete the form, you remember that in the building next door  they have the same library but you don’t need to waste your time registering and no card is needed. Then, you ignore the first building and stay in the second one.

I know, web it’s a bit more complex than this but you get the picture. We manage to create complex structures with high level of interoperability and we want them to be so intuitive that no guidance is required.

Paradoxically, the task of making a simple website is extremely complex and ultimately requires thorough testing because human behaviour is somehow unpredictable when exposed to new features. Fortunately, we don’t always require new features and just need something simple to use and practical. Going back to the example of the library: some days, you feel you want to see a new building and experience it fully. You can seat there and wait for the light to change the shadows and observe how people walk when they get in. Others, you just need to go to your doctor and want just clear signals to get there and you don’t even pay attention to how ugly the building is.

Why I selected the lovely picture of this monkey when I was visiting Mysore this weekend? Well, I wanted to continue showing the beauty of India and reflect in our behaviour, more unconscious that we wouldMonkey in Maysore like to admit.

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