Is the information physically appropriate and usable in context?
orienting yourself at a ‘You are here’ directory in a shopping mall without standing on your head
struggling to read the instructions on a child’s medicine bottle in the middle of the night, with the child screaming in the background
hunting for a signpost to show which path to take at an unlit campus late at night
attempting to read and understand the terms and conditions of an agreement in a crowded, noisy shop
glancing at a hospital patient’s treatment schedule under dim lighting in an emergency ward at night
being unable to read digital text because it doesn’t contrast sufficiently with its background.
At least 90% of people to whom the information is directed should find it physically appropriate. Fewer than 90%, and the information fails to meet an acceptable and achievable minimum standard. This can cause frustration or harm.
People don’t like social situations which disrespect them.
An example from our medicine information testing:
A customer bought a product because the packaging was beautifully designed and clear, but found that the instructions inside the package were poorly printed on thin paper with the print showing through from the other side. The customer decided not to use the product or take the brand seriously.
“They put a lot of effort into designing the package so that people buy it,” the customer said, “but you can tell they don’t really care about us when you see the lack of effort they put into designing the instructions!”
If fewer than 80% users find information respectful, it fails to meet an acceptable minimum achievable standard and can end up in the rubbish bin.
We can have many different social relationships, each with its appropriate form of conversation and behaviour: citizen, worker, teacher, student, friend, client, patient, parent, neighbour, and many others.
Not all relationships are appropriate:
a social media site sells your data without your knowledge.
a government department which has an obligation to provide you with services regards you as a consumer
your college regards you as a client
a retail shop regards you as a target.
Inappropriate social relationships can have disastrous results. People become unhappy and (if possible) walk away from such relationships.
If fewer than 90% of people to whom information is directed accept the social relationship it offers, it fails to meet an acceptable and achievable minimum standard.
Information is attractive and inviting when care, attention, and craft has been applied to its design.
Attractively presented information adds to its value and dignity. It creates a good impression, and it enhances the relationships between the user, the information, and its presenter.
At least 80% of people to whom the information is directed should find it attractive. Fewer than that, and it fails to meet an acceptable minimum standard and may be approached reluctantly and only out of necessity.