Minimal Cognitive Load, Clean Design and Mobile
Every product should be simple and pleasurable to use but designing an effective, efficient, and enjoyable product is not achieved by simply having good intentions. There is a lot that goes behind the scene to create something that works and is useful.
USEFUL = UTILITY + USABILITY
Utility = whether it provides the features you need
Usability = how easy and pleasant these features are to use
Reference – Magicbricks App (download from Google Play Store)
THE RESEARCH – Smell the Users
It all started with RESEARCH and for research to work in a quickly moving team, everyone needs to smell users. User research can be fast, but there’s still a methodology. We decided to proceed with contextual interviews and Usability testing. Multiple field visits and user connects at their natural environment were conducted to understand the way the user works and uses magicbricks app.
INTERNET OF PEOPLE – Heuristic Evaluations, Cognitive Walkthroughs, Paper Prototyping and Usability Testing.
Paper prototyping tool and Usability Testing preparation
Usability testing can help us refine and improve existing design ideas and website or application designs, as well as uncover gaps in knowledge that we may not have considered. There are many ways to conduct similar tests with a wide range of tools and we took paper prototyping approach which was easy to create and quick to execute. It came from magicbricks UXD lab and a long sustainable tool was created to help execute paper prototyping walkthrough for participants.
Cognitive walkthrough in progress
THE COGNITIVE LOAD & FRESH DESIGN APPROACH
“The total cognitive load, or amount of mental processing power needed to use your site, affects how easily users find content and complete tasks.” – excerpt from Nielsen Norman Group post
The Design approach worked hand in hand alongside three basic tips for minimizing cognitive load:
– Avoid Visual Clutter
– Build on existing mental models
– Offload tasks
Tunneling users through a decision process by removing all unnecessary functionality that could possibly distract their attention from completing the process (came out from UT’s) was the basis of our design approach. Great, intuitive designs are those that allow us directly, and correctly, to see what we can do with a thing and the approach resulted in primary actions on landing screen and minimizing all other options to remove distractions.
Usability of design = Functionality + Individuality + Predictability
Both research-based and example-based learning have their merits but we can list down our hypothesis and revalidate them with research for maximum user benefit which is key for any projects success.