The majority of electronic devices/
The more complexity there is, the more attention and energy is required from the users. But sometimes complexity can be driven out.
When users access the Symbol dialogue box, they are looking
for a symbol or a special character to insert into the text. Currently, visually recognising a symbol among hundreds of
them is the only way to find the required symbol, even if users know the
symbol’s name. (Once inserted, the symbol goes into the “Last used” queue.)
Although there are subsets that make smaller groups of symbols, it would be much easier to have a search field in which users could simply type the symbol’s name and instantly find what they are looking for. Also, users are sometimes not confident in which subset their wanted symbol belongs.
For example, let’s say the user is looking for a “numero” symbol in Word’s Symbol dialog box. Instead of manually scrolling through hundreds of symbols of varying shapes, the user could simply type into the search field “numero,” “No,” “N,” or “number” and instantly reach that symbol.
That kind of process wastefully consumes users’ focus and energy. Users are focused on the content (writing) and in the moment when they want to insert a specific symbol, instead of quickly inserting, their focus goes from the content to manually searching and recognizing the wanted symbol.
Additional Advices: Name variations and associations are highly recommended for situations when users can’t remember the exact string to enter into the search field. For example, writing “numero,” “No,” “N,” or “number” finds the “numero” symbol. Also, some symbols look alike, making them harder to recognize. A magnifying tool or increasing the size of all symbols is recommended.
One of the fundamental methods to create easier and better experience in the digital and material environment is making a number of steps in achieving some goal as few as possible. By doing so, a number of neural processes in our visitors’ brain decrease and they spend less cognitive load, which in overall makes them more comfortable in our (digital) environment.
A case from www.volkswagen.ch: A user is interested in
Golf R version of VW’s most known car model. One selects
Modelle (step No. 1), Der neue Golf (No. 2), Der Golf R
(No. 3), and starts to watch the selected page. As one has interest in
configuring this car, the next step (No. 4) is
selecting “Jetzt konfigurieren” CTA button.1 But instead of continuing
configuring the desired car version, the user gets repetitive steps No. 2, 3
and No. 4 once again, which were already done before. Besides the confusion
in user’s mind “What happened now, where is the configurator?” user once
again has to search among all VW models and select Der neue Golf
(step No. 5), then Golf R (No. 6) and after that Konfiguration
starten (No. 7).
The entire process has three of seven steps causing excessive ballast in users’ cognitive load with repetitive work and confusion – for no good reason. Making a direct link in “Jetzt konfigurieren” CTA button to Golf R configuration page would solve this unneeded complexity and reduce the number of steps from seven to four.
A case from Apple website: A user from Slovenia wants to
get the Support page in the local Slovenian language. One types apple.si
(local domain name) but lands on apple.com (United States website),
resulting the "Support" page in the English language instead of the desired
User types again apple.si but the scenario repeats. After that, the user decides to look where on the page one can change the country. That can be done at the very bottom of the page and after that one has to find the desired country among many of them, plus clicking "Support" once again.
In such scenario, users have to make at least two actions and quite some thinking for no reason, before they finally get to the Support page in the local language. All that unneeded effort could be avoided with simple domain redirection from apple.si to apple.com/si as many other countries have, for ex. www.apple.ch automatically redirects users to apple.com/ch.
In order to create a user-friendly environment, complexity should be neutralised, or at least simplified. Actions should be easily performed to reduce users’ wasted energy.