More Noise Is Better
Last week I was watching a German television show (they actually do have worthwhile programming at times) which investigated and tested noise levels of household appliances such as vacuum cleaners, dish washers and kitchen robots, among others. Generally I would conclude that the less noise these various machines made the better. Yet, user research indicated that a vacuum cleaner, for instance, which made less noise was perceived as less powerful and therefore less effective. Odd, is it not?
Towards the end the research concluded that some product characteristics are so fundamental to the (positive) value assigned by users that removing (or reducing) them will translate into a negatively affected perception. There is an interesting line to be drawn to design and usability. However the question remains how this would apply to user interfaces and web design in general. I’m still trying to see what role user expectation, accustomedness and perception play and how some assumptions designers make can have an opposite effect. Can you think of any analogies similar to the vacuum cleaner case, but applied to user interfaces or web design?
This item was posted byon Monday, February 16th, 2004.
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