I recently began reading Robert Hoekman Jr.’s Designing the Obvious: A Common Sense Approach to Web Application Design, and can’t recommend it enough. As the title suggests, it’s all about creating web apps that are so easy to use that it seems like second nature.
Reading about the concept of “obvious” design reminded me of watching Kael play with some of his toys recently. If a one year old is able to figure out how to turn a toy on and off or manipulate it to do whatever it’s supposed to do, I’d call that obvious design.
Of course web applications are more complex than children’s toys, but they don’t need to be as complicated as they usually are. If their creators make just a little more effort to help people do more and think less, everyone will win.