This is blogpost number 5 in my series “7 aspects that improve the UX of your app”.
Object-oriented UX is a concept i learned about this year, when i attended two talks by Sophia V. Prater. In short, it is about designing objects before actions and about considering how our brains work. You should read this article or watch this video to get more detailed information about it by Sophia, who developed that concept/principle.
A design is intuitive when it behaves how a user expects it to. Well, what do users expect? Whenever we find ourselves in a new environment (physical or digital) we want to know:
- What are the objects here?
- Where are the objects?
- How do these objects relate to me and to each other?
Without knowing what and where the objects are, we feel blind. Navigating feels uncomfortable. Taking action might even feel impossible. That’s also the case for digital environments, so we should make sure all objects are easy to identify and not misleading. Make it easy for a user to predict what’s behind all objects, buttons etc.
avoid shapeshifting objects
Objects in the real world don’t usually change form as they change context. When I bring a new toaster home from the store, it doesn’t change into a different toaster. In a digital product i might also be confused if an object looks different in different parts of the app. Things that are the same should always look the same.
avoid masked objects
Don’t shove different objects into the same package. If you have a row of buttons/modules that look the same, they should lead to the same type of thing. Different things should always look different.
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