Even long-term users of a computer system usually know and use only a tiny fraction of its available commands and features. If the design has good usability, people学习一组核心功能在他们使用系统的早期相当容易。然后他们停滞不前don't get much better. 几十年过去了,即使是频繁使用系统的用户,每年也只能勉强学到一两样新东西。

Stagnating user expertise is not limited to any particular design category. It's been documented for all classes of user interfaces across decades of research.

老例子

一项早期的研究努力是Steve Draper对UNIX专家的研究,于1984年出版。不仅DRAPER发现至少7年才能成为熟练的UNIX系统管理员,也是不同的UNIX专家有不同的知识领域。这些权力极客不知道一切:每个UNIX专家都脱下了不同的知识获取路径,同时仍然在其他领域少熟练。

最近,在微软的早期可用性研究对2007年的软件版本中,UX团队要求客户提名他们希望看到添加到包装的新功能。绝大多数“新”特征要求是为了物品多年来一直在办公室.结果,设计团队决定强调可发现性in the new user interface and thusMicrosoft introduced the ribbon. 确保人们理解旧特性比添加新特性更重要。

在deed, the Office 2007 redesign worked well, and people now use more of the package's functionality. Even so, most people still use only a small percentage of the available features.

新例子

We recently conducted a bunch of usability studies of current mobile applications to update our courses on手机和平板电脑应用程序设计.它令人引人注目,用户如何不知道他们经常使用的应用程序的基本功能。iPhone,Android或Windows Phone - 没关系;在我们测试的所有平台上,该发现是相同的。

One component of this new research was a bit different than our typical usability studies: we included a "show and tell" segment in which we asked users toshow我们的手机上的应用程序告诉告诉我们他们是怎么用的。有时,我们还要求参与者使用他们没有告诉我们的功能。在所有情况下,常见的反应是:“哇,我不知道这个应用程序可以这样做。谢谢你向我展示。"

(We didn't actually show users a feature they hadn’t mentioned — we asked them to perform a task that required them to find the feature on their own. Still, to the extent that we pointed people toward something they wouldn’t have looked for otherwise, we deviated from approved testing protocols. In this case, doing so was fine because we were running our umpteenth usability study of mobile apps, so we had already discovered all the basic findings. But if you're testing something for the first time, definitely take a less directive approach to avoid biasing users in even the smallest way.)

Following are a few examples of basic mobile app features that users hadn't discovered, despite being frequent users:

美国银行(iPhone):一个人使用这个程序定期为checking balances and making sure that checks had cleared, but was unaware of the check deposit feature. She did find it easily when we asked; in real life, however, the feature might as well not have existed because the user wasn't looking for it.

MyFitnessPal(Windows Phone):我们的测试参与者每天都使用这个应用程序节食。她提到,直到她的朋友告诉她,她才发现许多特征(例如,她不知道自己能追踪体重)。在我们的测试中,她不知道如何访问前一天的信息,而且她经常忘记可以水平滑动以查看更多功能。这个lack of feature visibility是Windows Phone的常见问题,如此屏幕截图所示:

在Windows Phone上尖叫显示MyFitnessPal
Windows Phone屏幕截图:通过水平滚动顶部菜单可以获得其他功能,但大多数情况下,相对于那些在屏幕上清晰可见而无需进一步操作的功能,这些功能是看不见的、记不住的。

Wag(iPhone):一个人经常使用此应用程序来订购她的狗的物品。她不知道如何保存项目,并没有在主页上发现该命令的菜单。不幸的是,此菜单仅显示在主页上;它消失在其他页面上,使得特征甚至不那么可发现。

iPhone上的WAG应用程序:主屏幕Wag app on iPhone: sample product page
Left:WAG Application主页使用菜单扩展。
正确的:Product page without access to the menu (unless you return to the top screen).

Zappos(Android):用户不知道如何将项目添加到收藏夹列表中。

编织(newsreader, Windows Phone): One test user read news everyday with this app, but he didn’t realize he could add another publication that was not included in the default list of sources.

iMuscle(iPhone):一个人经常使用这个应用程序浏览和观看练习。即便如此,他也不知道如何制定针对一组肌肉的锻炼计划。而且,当我们询问时,他也找不到不需要特殊设备的练习。

Hulu升级版(Android):通常在Hulu发现和观看和观看的用户,但不知道如何为他的队列添加节目以供以后查看。

在所有这些情况下(以及我们测试的许多其他情况),用户不知道那些在极简主义用例之外只是一点点的特性. 看新闻,是的。找其他新闻来源,不。

Because many of the apps had sufficiently good usability, users could find the features once prompted. In the real world, however, there's no kindly study facilitator to continuously push users to find new functionality. Outside the lab, these rather basic features would most likely have remained undiscovered for several more years of use.

Why Expertise Stagnates

人们可以在不知道对它们非常有用的功能的情况下使用计算机系统多年。即使对于人们依赖他们的生计,例如电子邮件,文字处理和电子表格,这也是如此。在测试内联网,我们经常发现员工不知道企业的关键特性。

这似乎是一个悖论,因为用户只要花点时间看看用户界面,就会获得实质性的好处(可能会在几年内累积)。投资回报率似乎很明显。

但是,虽然用户可能有mathematicallytrue ROI from learning more about user interfaces, the ROI might not be so clear from abehavioral立场。问题是投资立竿见影: users must suffer the互动成本通过用户界面的模糊部分导航。相比之下,救济有福利:用户在某些未定义的未来时刻仅以小的增量实现它,当时可能使用新发现的功能。

标准经济学告诉我们如何计算未来收益流的NPV(净现值):你把它们加起来,同时用适当的利率贴现每一个收益,在未来发生的事情越远,利率就越高。

Humans are probably wired to assume a stupendously large discount on those future small benefits. In the ancestral environment, you'd be dead before some uncertain future event could benefit you enough to matter.

Whatever the underlying biology, it's an empirical fact — based on 3 decades of research — that用户狭隘地专注于现在. 在他们面前的是他们所知道的一切。他们现在在做什么才是最重要的。

人们不看手册。人们不会在用户界面上到处寻找整洁的特性。人们一旦学会了一种行之有效的方法,就不会调查是否有更好的方法来做某事。(也许你会做这些事,但是你不是普通用户。)

学习是艰苦的工作,用户不想这样做. 这就是为什么他们对你的设计尽可能少地了解,然后多年保持低水平的专业知识。学习曲线迅速变平,此后几乎没有移动。

你可以鼓励用户学习吗?

Most important, accept that users are reluctant to learn. You might think that your website or application is particularly important and useful. But to users, it's one of hundreds they have to deal with. Yours is unlikely to be the first user interface for which all users become sophisticated experts and learn all the features.

Although you can永远解决不了问题停滞不前的用户专业知识,有一些缓解贫困的战略信息技术:

  • 更少的特征.每一个额外的功能使其他功能更加困难to discover and harder to learn. Paradoxically, by offering fewer features, you might find that people use more of them.
  • 可见的特色.不要让人们寻找关键功能。当然,你可以使用逐步披露要隐藏高级功能,但您必须为用户提供一种可见的方式来取消隐藏它们。
  • Visible signifiers. 感知到的启示必须清楚地表明人们能做什么以及他们应该如何做。指导方针在网页上可视化链接are a good example. Resistoverly flat design所有项目都看起来相同,没有什么可以点击。
  • Just-in-time learning.虽然用户不会读取手册,但它们有时会读取上下文中显示的小提示。
  • 剥削教育时刻.错误消息可以指导用户走向更好的方法来解决他们的问题。
  • 宽恕.当用户可以轻松地摆脱任何情况时,探索更有可能。撤消(包括Back按钮)和清晰的导航是必不可少的。相反,如果有人尝试了一个新的功能而受到伤害,你可以打赌他们不会再浏览你的UI了。
  • 低承诺预览.更加宽容,让用户了解会发生什么他们真的这么做了。示例包括在中选择各种选项的项目计数面位导航以及文档暂时重新格式化的方式,同时在Microsoft Word中悬停在样式。
  • Plain usability.The easier something is, the more likely users will have the cognitive surplus to learn it instead of spending their brainpower struggling with simply operating the UI.

Follow these guidelines, and users will eventually know and use more of your features. They’ll thus get better results from using your design, and they'll like it better. Everybody benefits.

参考

Stephen W.Draper(1984):《UNIX专业知识的性质》,B.Shackel(编辑)人机交互-1984年会议记录(北荷兰:阿姆斯特丹),第465-471页。