UX Principle #1 - Make It User-centric by Matching the Real World

  • By
    Brooke Cowling
    September 18, 2018
    March 2, 2022

In case you missed it, yesterday we touched on the importance of giving your customers a memorable experience by reducing cognitive load and making the experience user-centric. Today we’ll show you how to make it user-centric by matching the real world - one of the key UX principles.

Let's say you’re casually browsing a website when suddenly the page you clicked on can’t be found. What would you rather see? ‘HTTP Error 404’ or ‘Whoopsie daisy, we can’t seem to find the page you’re looking for’?

My guess is the latter. Right? Let’s be honest, what does HTTP Error 404 even mean? My point is, the system should always match the real world. There are many ways you can do this, but one of the most important is to ‘speak the user’s language’. When you follow real world conventions, in other words, when your design, labelling and conversations match the real world, you’re onto a good thing.

Take BIZZBY for example. BIZZBY is an app that connects users with professionals offering home services; plumbers, electricians and even locksmiths. The information is laid out in a natural and logical order. When a user wants to request a service, they are not presented with business terms or jargon. The language is simple and easy to understand – ‘I need a handyman to assemble a sofa at my home today at 10am.’ Simples.

There are other examples of companies doing this well. The Apple weather app replicates the actual forecast in the background and shows you when it's foggy, rainy, cloudy etc.

So, in summary, reduce the cognitive load for users by trying to match the real world. Use words and phrases your customers understand. Speak the users’ language.

Check back in tomorrow, we’re talking about personalisation and we’ll show you some cool ways to encourage your users to set their preferences upfront.


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