What Makes a Design Seem Intuitive?

Design & User Experience
Location: 2010 Level:
Average rating: **...
(2.25, 8 ratings)

Everyone wants an “intuitive” interface: the users, the designers, and the content publishers. But building them is hard. User Interface Engineering’s recent research has given insight into why it’s hard and how to get past major obstacles.

To build an “intuitive” interface, a designer has to do two things: (1) Take complete advantage of what the user already knows, so what they see is completely familiar to them and (2) make the act of learning anything new completely imperceptible to the user. It turns out, if the interface requires the user to realize they are learning something, the “intuitive” label disappears instantly.

In this talk, Jared will show:

  • How users need both tool knowledge and domain knowledge to complete their tasks
  • How simple problems with designs can cause big problems for users
  • What successful teams are doing to create experiences that delight

Jared will show examples from Microsoft Word, MSN, Google Talk, Flickr, Avis, and many more.

Jared Spool

User Interface Engineering

If you’ve ever seen Jared speak about usability, you know that he’s probably the most effective, knowledgeable communicator on the subject today. What you probably don’t know is that he has guided the research agenda and built User Interface Engineering into the largest research organization of its kind in the world. He’s been working in the field of usability and design since 1978, before the term “usability” was ever associated with computers.

Jared spends his time working with the research teams at the company, helps clients understand how to solve their design problems, explains to reporters and industry analysts what the current state of design is all about, and is a top-rated speaker at more than 20 conferences every year. He is also the conference chair and keynote speaker at the annual User Interface Conference, is on the faculty of the Tufts University Gordon Institute, and manages to squeeze in a fair amount of writing time.

Comments on this page are now closed.


Jared Spool
04/03/2009 10:16am PDT

Thanks everyone for coming to my presentation. If you want copies of the slides, just send email to events@uie.com and I’ll send them to you.

Kevin O'Brien
04/03/2009 9:46am PDT

Excellent presentation, Jared should moonlight as a comedian. -nowarninglabel.com

Jared Spool
04/03/2009 4:33am PDT

Yup. I promise I’ll be there this time. And I’ll explain what happened. (Though, I promise, it’s not an exciting answer. Don’t get your hopes up for a great reason.)

Picture of Suzanne Axtell
Suzanne Axtell
04/03/2009 3:51am PDT

Unfortunately Jared was unable to make his originally scheduled time, but he’ll be speaking at 3:50 p.m. in Room 2010 today (Friday).

Picture of Leonard Lin
Leonard Lin
04/02/2009 5:16pm PDT

I swung by about 15min later and apparently was a noshow? Too bad, sounded like an interesting topic and he’s a great presenter.

Sandra Wolfe
04/02/2009 9:45am PDT

What happened??? I was there on time along with many others. Did Jared ever show?

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