Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

Cognitive Overhead

Today's LinkedIn news trawl turned up one article that's well worth my while to remember, on Cognitive Overhead.

The heart of the point is that everybody *talks* about simplicity in product design nowadays, but we often don't understand what that means. There's often a focus on smaller, faster, with fewer controls, but that's not really the important part. The essence of true simplicity is how easy it is for somebody to *grok* your product: to understand what they can and should be doing with it, and how to make it do what it's supposed to.

This is going to be Querki's biggest challenge. I know what Querki is supposed to do, and I'm reasonably sure that I can build it. But getting to the point where the typical Internet user can pick it up and start doing things with it -- *that* is going to be an epic project, and I suspect it'll take several years to get to the point where it's adequate. I've got a lot of ideas in various directions, ranging from how naive users will get into the system in the first place (one of the many reasons to focus on App development), to how we build a UI that makes sense to folks, to simply how we *describe* the tool to the public. But I expect all of those are going to need tons of tweaking and tuning (and often throwing out and starting again) to get it right...
Tags: querki

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