Blog: UX in 140 words

Is a product still usable if the user has to “get used to it”?

by | Jan 31, 2019

During usability, when participants have trouble using something we often hear ‘I could do better but I’d just have to get used to it.’ This is a common phrase; it typically means there are usability issues. But maybe something more subtle is at play.

Sometimes the designs we test are not expected to be ‘walk up and use’ – in which case, ‘getting used to it’ might be a real thing. The design might be good, but it requires training. We have to know if the user is expected to have prior knowledge, require training, or need a ‘breaking in period’ (getting used to it!); if we don’t give the ‘breaking in’, the designs we test are not getting a fair evaluation. Experts perform differently from novices. Sometimes (often) user interfaces that novices find easy to use are frustrating to experts.