Z515 Spring 2015

Path of Least Resistance

Resmini & Romasti (2011) discuss resiliency in terms of making information spaces/places more reflective of our personal experiences. For example, incorporating our own personal paths into maps of a city to make them more useful to everyone. The authors mention Peter Merholz’s “desire paths,” which reflect the paths people really are taking, not what the designers expect them to take.

Steve Krug (2014) describes how web designers should assume a user is scanning, not reading through a website, and design with that in mind.

So should designers stick with a set of rules for clarity and consistency, or should they make a design flexible so that user’s experiences can shape the design over time?

I think it partly depends on the goal of the design. If the site/space/place would benefit future users by changing and adapting based on past user’s behaviors, then it could be a good decision. I think this would be useful for sites that are constantly changing, adding new data, and trying to keep up with real world events and culture. Allowing the user to shape sites like these could essentially use people’s scanning patterns to guide the design.

Following this, I wonder if user experiences should be used to shape design or only to enhance design by adding to it. What if a user wants to take an untraveled path? It seems the ideal would be enhancing with user experience but not losing the clarity of the design for those forging new paths and looking for new information.

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This entry was written by z515student and published on March 2, 2015 at 5:28 am. It’s filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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