Make products easy to-use


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Make it easy-to-use is Rule #3 of the Six Rules for Creating Products People Love. This brief provides an excellent introduction to the design concepts you need to make easy-to-use products.

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Make products easy to-use

  1. 1. Rule #3: Make Make Products it Easy-to-Use Easy-to-UseResearchers have found thatwhen people think a system iseasier to use then they alsoconsider it more useful.Since some of the things thatmake a product useful includebetter performance or improvedproductivity, it only makessense that ease-of-use is a bigfactor.After all, how can a productmake you more productive ifyou are struggling to make itwork? Copyright notice - This presentation and its content is copyright of Green Expert Technology, Inc. All rights reserved. Any redistribution or reproduction of part or all of the contents in any form is prohibited. You may not, except with our express written permission, distribute or commercially exploit the content of this presentation. 1 © 2012 Green Expert Technology
  2. 2. The designer shouldcommunicate to the userThe less thinking peopleare forced to do in order touse your product thebetter.This is best accomplishedwith a design thatcommunicates to the userhow the product functions.It is a beautiful thing whena designer is able to speakto the user through thedesign. 2
  3. 3. An example design that Communicates FunctionOn the standard toaster two slots on topmimic the shape of the two slices of breadrequired to make a sandwich. A lever drops thebread into the space between the heating coilsand mechanically locks them in place. A singleknob controls how dark and crispy the breadwill be toasted. When your bread is finishedtoasting, the mechanical lock disengages withan audible “pop” that signals to you that thetoast is ready. If you fail to hear the “pop,” youcan see the toasted bread sticking visibly up inthe slots.The toaster may seem elementary in itssimplicity, and you may be fooled into saying,“Well, how else would you design it?” Trulythe greatest of praise for a product is when auser cannot imagine a better design. 3
  4. 4. An example design that Fails to CommunicateEver felt stupid for pulling ona door that you need to pushto open?YOU are not stupid, thedesign is!A grip handle is NOT neededfor pushing, so why did thedesigner put it on the push-side of the door?See the row of doors at right;quick: push or pull?The push side should have aflat push-pad and the pull-sideof a door should have a pullhandle. Then, no one wouldever have to feel stupid. 4
  5. 5. Designer speaks to user through the system Donald A. Norman writes that there are “three conceptual models” that we must understand.  The designer’s model System of how the product orDesigner User system works Image  The user’s model of how it works  The system image that is the physical representation of the design. 5
  6. 6. Doors and toasters, what about software systems?Easy-to-use Software is: Intuitive Simple Flexible Empowering 6
  7. 7. IntuitiveWhen the system is trulyintuitive there is no needfor mouse-over tips, onlinehelp, or training.The user is able todetermine how the systemworks just by looking at it. 7
  8. 8. SimpleThere is a line betweenfeature-rich and confusing.Simple is free of complexityand free of clutter.Don’t add functions to yoursoftware just because youcan.Instead, focus on the user’sneeds. 8
  9. 9. FlexibleOverly rigid software canbe frustrating. We do notknow what every userwants to do with ourproduct, so it is good toprovide some flexibilitythat allows the user tocustomize the experience. 9
  10. 10. EmpoweringSoftware is empoweringwhen it enables some usersto become super-users ifthey choose.Most people just wantyour software provide acore function without toomuch complexity.Some people want to domore and they want yoursoftware to allow them tobecome expert users. 10
  11. 11. Prototype, evaluate, & repeatSoftware designers need tounderstand users’ work flow and thenimprove it.This is only accomplished through alot of product touching by peoplewho are NOT developers.Real users and people who do notunderstand the guts of the systemprovide critical design feedbackbecause they only have the “user’smodel” and system image to makedecisions.Developers overlook issues becausethey are informed by knowledge ofthe “designer’s model” and are able tobridge design gaps with thisknowledge. 11
  12. 12. Make it easy-to-useThe iPod set a new standardfor easy-to-use for thepersonal music device. TheiPod was more expensive butit was completely intuitive.Ease of use must beconsidered early and oftenwhen designing a product.The goal of every productdesigner should be tocommunicate functionthrough the design.As Steve Jobs said,“The design is how it works.” 12
  13. 13. Six Rules for Creating Products People LoveMake it Easy to Use is Rule #3 of Easy to Setupthe Six Rules for Creating ProductsPeople Love.When you consider the rules at Usefulevery step in the productdevelopment process you set Easy to Useyourself up for success. Learnmore by reading the book; it is Attractiveavailable for purchase at thepublisher’s site: Valuable/Products/SKU-000598891/Six-Rules-for-Creating-Products- TrustworthyPeople-Love.aspx 13
  14. 14. Bruce D. GreenBruce D. Green is the author of the book Six Rules for CreatingProducts People Love. Bruce provides training, consulting, andfacilitation for product development teams and individualentrepreneurs.He has founded or cofounded a number of successful companiesincluding Green Expert Technology, Inc. and The GBS Group.Bruce has led numerous product development projects for theUS Navy and Fortune 500 companies. Bruce developed the SixRules for Creating Products People Love after more than fifteenyears of studying why people choose to use one product overanother. He has published articles and presented at academicand industry conferences on usability, technology acceptance,and system development. Email or call (856)520-6342 14