dilemma 1

DILEMMA  page 88


How much and what kind of transparency do you think a designer should provide in an interactive product? This is not a straightforward question to answer and depends a lot on the requirements of the targeted user groups. Some users simply want to get on with their tasks and don’t want to have to learn about how the thing they are using works. In this situation, the system should be designed to make it obvious what to do and how to use it. For example, most cell phone users want a simple plug-and-play type interface, where it is straightforward to carry out functions like saving an address, text messaging, and making a call. Functions that are difficult to learn can be off-putting. Users simply won’t bother to make the extra effort, meaning that many of the functions provided are never used. Other users like to understand how the device they are using works in order to make informed decisions about how to carry out their tasks, especially if there are numerous ways of doing something. Some search engines have been designed with this in mind: they provide background information on how they work and how to improve one’s searching techniques.


Read the dilemma on page 88 and reflect on the question provided in the first sentence (How much and what kind of transparency do you think a designer should provide in an interactive product?)

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