“Users don’t read the manual.”
What’s a manual?
“In fact, users don’t read anything.” – Joel Spolsky
“many people are intimidated by computers.” – Joel Spolsky
These two things work in opposition to each other. I constantly have to stop and force myself to remember this when working with non-technical people. The part I just don’t get is where the overt hostility and/or resistance to reading the screen comes from? Joel talks about a naive user case where the person in question just skips past the description and get’s confused by a choice.
That’s not my issue.
I’ve been trying to figure out to deal with subspecies which deals with their intimation by looking at the screen as little as possible. I just don’t understand how that’s a success strategy on any time horizon.
Yet I run into it again and again.
We’ve adopted the following mitigation strategies:
1) Always ensure that there’s really no way for a user to “harm” themselves if they tap randomly. (Because they do. A lot.)
2) Always do something useful when tapped. This is harder than it seems, but can be accomplished by removing things they can tap on and/or removing prerequisite requirements.
One place where we’re intentionally breaking #2, for now at least, is requiring a check-in before allowing a dancer to tag a song as a favorite. This is because ideally we’d like them to pay for that upgrade before doing so and are displaying a message to them along those lines.
Time will see how that proves out…