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Design for How People Think by John Whalen

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Chapter 11 Wayfinding: How Do You Get There

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Wayfinding: How Do You Get There?

Now let’s turn to findings that are related to wayfinding (Figure 11-1). As a reminder of what we discussed in Chapter 2, wayfinding is all about where people think they are in space, what they think they can do to interact and move around, and the challenges they might have there. We want to understand people’s perception of space—in our case, virtual space—and how they can interact in that virtual world.

Remember the story about the ant in the desert? It was all about how it thought it could get home based on its understanding of how the world works (which lacked accounting for being picked up and moved). Similarly, we want to observe the navigation and wayfinding behavior of our customers and identify any issues they are having while interacting with our products and services.

With wayfinding in mind, we are seeking to answer these questions:

  • Where do customers think they are?
  • How do they think they can get from Place A to Place B?
  • What do they think will happen next?
  • What are their expectations, and what are those expectations based on?
  • How do their expectations differ from how this interface actually works?
  • What interaction design challenges did they encounter as a result of their assumptions?

In this chapter, we’ll look at how customers “fill in the gaps” with their best guesses of what a typical interaction might be like, and what comes next. Especially with regard to service ...

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