Help! Do our users need it?

We spend a great deal of time on the internet (well I do!) but just because we have developed an understanding for how applications work does not mean that everyone else knows.

As designers and developers there is a danger of getting too close to a project and just expecting that our users will know how things work. Even with the best intentions we always run the risk of designing confusing interactions.

After reading ‘Designing the Obvious’ by Robert Hoekman, Jr. I endeavour to do just that! Create obvious interactions that appear natural to the user, allowing the user to feel confident about using the application and enjoy the entire experience.

But how does a user learn these interactions?
Is the current Facebook and mySpace generation as web savvy as we would assume?
Can we really expect our users to just know how things work?

In a recent article on his blog Robert Hoekman, Jr. explores how this assumption can often be quite false – a great insight for designers, developers and users alike…

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