Successful User Experiences* share 2 attributes:
- They get people to take the action you want them to take
- They make that interaction a compelling experience
Getting people to take an action is in large part driven by inviting them to do something. In children’s toys we do this with colors and levers, but on websites or in applications or with gadgets too often designers forget to make that invitation or they make too many invitations and the message is confusing and frustrating. Users want to know what to they are supposed to do, as user experience designers, it is our job to tell them. But no one likes to be told what to do, so better to think of it as an invitation rather than an order. Invitations can be pretty, they can be poetic, they can be funny or
A compelling experience is accomplished by making the experience engaging, empowering and efficient. Devices and interfaces are expected to work, delivering more that what is expected is engagement. Engagement is personal and so the language and messages should feel personal. The experience should feel empowering. Empowerment means respecting people’s time and being smart about letting the machine do the work but allowing the user to feel in control of what gets done.
*Having the intended action work properly is a given.
Read pages 1-52 of The Design of Everyday Things by Donald A. Norman [PDF]
Post to your blog an example of an interface that offers the user a clear invitation to do something and makes that engagement a compelling and engaging experience. Be prepared to share your example with the class.