Is it interesting?
Here is an idea I still like, but had forgotten to keep using:
The old usability cliche “users are busy not stupid” is exactly right,
because the issue is that they are busy doing something and
they will always only care about things they need to care about to do
that thing. So the relevant question is not whether they find
something confusing, but whether a specific person would care
about it at a particular point in using the software. Much better to
talk about “interestingness” than “confusingness” when deciding what
to strip down (not least because interestingness is more obviously
relative to the audience).
As you design something, ask “is this relevant to what people are
trying to do?” rather than “is this confusing?” — I like it. Maybe
I’ll remember it this time 😉
It doesn’t matter whether people could figure something
out. It matters whether they’re interested in figuring it out — is it
part of what they’re trying to do, or an annoying sidetrack?
(This post was originally found at http://log.ometer.com/2008–03.html#5)