Discoverability and Understanding

Weekly I/O#62

What makes a design good? Examine it using the Discoverability and Understanding Framework.

Book: The Design of Everyday Things

Two of the most essential characteristics of good design are discoverability and understanding. Discoverability refers to how easy to identify what actions are possible and know where and how to perform them. Understanding involves comprehending how the product should be used and what all the different controls and settings mean.

These two characteristics can serve as benchmarks for evaluating the quality of a design. Take ChatGPT, for instance. A text input field and a send button ensure clear discoverability about what actions are available. As to understanding, it may take some time for first-time users to grasp the context. But due to its excellent discoverability, users can understand the context and establish correlations after a few interactions with the interface.

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