INTERACTIVE AXIOM #4: Usability’s Equivalent Exchange

THE EASIER YOU WISH TO MAKE IT FOR YOUR USER, THE HARDER (AND MORE EXPENSIVE) IT WILL BE FOR YOU TO CREATE.

This is a natural law in Interactive development; an equivalent exchange.  And there is a point in the development of every project I have ever engaged in that this axiom hits the table.

It’s ironic on some level that you, the developer and client, have to endure quite a lot of complexity, difficulty and cost – more than beginners initially expect –  to make the user’s experience conversely simpler and more effortless.  But it’s a fact.

That’s because interactivity is not about a single path or way of doing things (though many clients walk in thinking it is).  It’s about potentials and variables.  You are creating an environment where the User should have the freedom to move where he wishes.  This naturally imposes development of varied and redundant pathways and functions.  And the more options the User has, the more rigorous I.A. (information architecture) and U.I./U.X. (user interface/experience design) must become. Continue reading