mlearn project

Charles Sturt University's Mobile Learning Project

Designing for Users

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It’s important to design for your users. So some things to consider:

  • Don’t add layers of complexity. What’s better than labels? No labels, for example clear salt and pepper shakers.
  • Up front instruction manuals make things feel more complex than they really are. A manual should be a reference not the primary way to learn to use something.
  • Being told how to do something takes a lot of the joy out of using it. You learn to interact with the world through trial and effort.
  • Trial and error is a tool. Use it to see how approachable your interfaces are.
  • Don’t patronise or dumb down functions for the user, but be patient with people as they come to terms with how to interact with your app.
  • Ease users in one element at a time, starting small then build up over time.
  • The best time to learn a skill is when you need it. Users don’t need to know everything up front, but they do need to

This list is based on Luke Wroblewski’s report on Josh Clark’s presentation Buttons are a Hack from at Breaking Development in Nashville.


Author: Tim Klapdor

Passionate about good design, motivated by the power of media and enchanted by the opportunities of technology.

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