Intuitive Interaction Applied to Interface Design

Blackler, Alethea L., Popovic, Vesna, & Mahar, Douglas P. (2005) Intuitive Interaction Applied to Interface Design. In International Design Congress - IASDR 2005, Nov 1-4 2005, Douliou, Taiwan.


Intuitive interaction involves utilising knowledge gained through other products or experience(s). Therefore, products that people use intuitively are those with features they have encountered before. This position has been supported by experimental studies. The findings suggest that relevant past experience is transferable between products, and probably also between contexts, and performance is affected by a person’s level of familiarity with similar technologies. Appearance (shape, size and labelling of features) seems to be the variable that most affects time on task and intuitive uses. Using familiar labels and icons and possibly positions for buttons helps people to use a product quickly and intuitively the first time they encounter it. Three principles have been developed to help designers develop interfaces which are intuitive to use.

Principle one; use familiar symbols and/or words for well-known functions, put them in a familiar or expected position and make the function comparable with similar functions users have seen before. Principles one involves utilizing existing features, labels or icons that users have seen before in similar products that perform the same function. This is the simplest level of applying intuitive use. Principle two; make it obvious what less well-known functions will do by using familiar things as metaphors to demonstrate their function. Principle two requires the use of metaphor to make something completely new familiar by relating it to something already existing. Principle three; increase consistency so that function, location and appearance of features are consistent between different parts of the design and throughout each part. Principle three allows users to apply the same knowledge and metaphors across all parts of the interface.

The implications and application of these principles are discussed in the context of the design of function, location and appearance of product and interface features. Applying these principles will allow designers to draw on users past experience in order to develop products which facilitate intuitive interaction and ready acceptance of new technologies.

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ID Code: 3638
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Intuitive interaction, Interface design, Human factors
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > DESIGN PRACTICE AND MANAGEMENT (120300) > Design Practice and Management not elsewhere classified (120399)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 20 Jul 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:11

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