Ordinary user of the screen interface: who is he?

Everyone who develops a screen interface probably wonders about its friendliness towards the end user (usability). And for certain you assume that your product will be popular not only with your friends programmers who understand the meanings of stereotypical pictograms, but also with ordinary people who are using computer technology for YOU. And if localization of the product in the territory of the post-Soviet space is affected, problems begin to grow like a snowball. Since, according to the author, a goodacceptable interface = tested interface, it follows that you can not do without tests. To convene consultations, create focus groups and give friends and colleagues a try is certainly wonderful, but not always possible for one reason or another. For this we will try to create an ordinary user model of the screen interface. The user of the screen interface (hereinafter referred to as PEI.)

The author has more than once faced with judgments such as:
Inter-no, this is somewhere in your place in Moscow. In computers.
But it may play into your hands - it’s easier to implement from scratch.

It's no secret that you will not please everyone, but no one forbids trying. Although the theory of Dale Carnegie's “win-win” strategy is not welcomed by the author, a good friendly friendly, at least somewhat acceptable interface will not work without compromise. And we will seek a compromise in the properties of the average end-user of a software product with an on-screen interface (the future, I know, you are already there, but we are used to it).

It is clear that the probability of using the server control panel by the saleswoman of the fish department of the sales department in Vorkuta is infinitely small. But it would have been nice, if only she had understood how to navigate the tabs. And do not forget that once people ran away from the hall when the Lumiere brothers first showed the arriving train on the screen.

So, following in the footsteps of Kant, we will try to explore the cognitive possibility of the mind, in isolation from knowledge obtained empirically, that is, experimentally, but with pre-established principles of understanding. Imagine the end user as an information processing device. To print the text of this article, the author uses the usual input device for corpus linguistics of Cyrillic content, Arabic numerals and a glossary of punctuation pictograms - qwerty keyboard. But from what I have it in color, with or without anatomical layout, plastic or metal, is independent usability readability of the text. Make your interface a convenient keyboard for entering information into PEI's head.

The usual multilevel information system for the average user is a book. Most often, there are only two levels in books - table of contents and chapters. But for example, there are three of them in the Bible - scripture, chapter and verse. So an acceptable number of levels, according to the author, is better to limit to three.

Mind and knowledge are different things. Let's hope that our user is smart (oh hopefully) but has no special knowledge for perception. Wikipedia states that:
this perception is a complex process of receiving and transforming information obtained with the help of the senses that form the subjective holistic image of an object that acts on analyzers through a set of sensations initiated by this object.
The human eye is, as it were, a connector for connecting your interface to the consciousness of the end user of the screen interface.

Not much is known to mankind about the study of the human eye and its properties. We will not go into the details of constructing the compositions and discussing the method of lateral eye movement - for the author is neither a designer nor a physiologist. Links to interesting, according to the author, works on this topic can be found at the end in the list of references. I can only say that the properties of the eye of the user of the screen interface are the main protocol for connecting your product with its consciousness. The convenience of the interface depends on how stable the connection with the user's consciousness will be.

Convenient does not mean simply and vice versa. Simplicity is worse than theft - folk wisdom.

Trying to simplify your interface, do not go to extremes. Aesthetics is not alien to people. The usual simplicity of ordinary things hides the meticulous precision and aesthetics of their execution. Old Man Steve Jobs knew firsthand about this and constantly used it, which is probably one of the reasons that nowadays “a phone can buy Latvia”.

So: Who is he - an ordinary user of the screen interface

- PEI can read in the language it speaks.
- PEI can use a mouse and / or touchscreen.
- PEI does not know the Microsoft glossary.
- PEI does not distinguish between standard icons, stereotypical pictograms.
- PEI does not have a permanent computer (tablet, digital phone, etc.) in use.
- PEI can use simple techniques (calculator, tube TV, radio).
- PEI est.
- PEI is not curious.
- PEI distinguishes colors.
- PEI solves problems in a maximum of three actions.
- PEI is smart not stupid.

Try to put yourself in the place of an ordinary PEI from this model, and testing your product will become faster, and in many cases more precisely the focus of the group.
Using this model of ordinary PEI in the work, the author often finds simple answers to common questions when working with programmers and designers. Which I hope will help you.

Do not just think, dear habretchik, that the author considers all PEI people divorced from progress. Some PEIs know what OOP is, they use sophisticated technology every day, and for some of them, hip-hop uni-code is not just two rich words.

- “The Innovator’s Dilemma” Clayton M. Christensen
- “Criticism of Pure Reason” Immanuel Kant
- “Web Design. Analysis of the usability of web sites by eye movement ”Jacob Nielsen
- “ User Interface Design. The art of washing an elephant »Vlad Golovach
- Eye movement (wikipedia article)

The author is happy to discuss, criticize and supplement (correct) the model of ordinary PEI and does not pretend to be identical to the article, but as a thought, he considers it mandatory.

The author promises to develop on the topic and modify the material over time.

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