There is no widely agreed-upon definition of the term “intuitive design.” Rather, intuitive design is used informally to describe designs that are easy to use. So, when a user is able to understand and use a design immediately—that is, without consciously thinking about how to do it—we describe the design as “intuitive.”
While there is no standard definition, some research groups have worked towards building a clearer understanding of the term “intuitive design.” Members of the interdisciplinary research group Intuitive Use of User Interfaces argue that intuition is not a feature of design—instead, intuitive use is a characteristic of the interaction process between a specific user and the design. So, if we are to evaluate whether a design is intuitive, we must also think about who will use the design.
Users will feel that a design is intuitive when it is based on principles from other domains that are well known to them. Designs can therefore provide experiences that seem intuitive to some users but not to others. The aforementioned research group offers the following definition of intuitive use: “A technical system is—in a specific context of a user goal—intuitively usable to the degree the user is able to interact with it effectively by applying knowledge unconsciously.” Here is where the designer’s carefully derived knowledge of the target audience for an item comes into play. By capitalizing on what principles are likely to be present due to the target audience’s culture, industry background, etc., a designer can deliver a product or service that users can take to without having to hesitate and wonder how they can execute an action…read more