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Users get a sense of accomplishment discovering features on their own

I have a vague memory of reading something very similar in a bullet point in an article from one of the public eye usability experts. I can't remember if it was Nielsen/Norman/Schneiderman/other... And I can't remember the exact citation.

Does anyone recognize this statement, and can point me to the direction where I can read it in full and in the correct context?

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I feel this should be followed by an asterisk. I can imagine this being quite entertaining in a social/exploratory (entertainment) environment but not so useful in commercial 'UX' terms. Since it is basically saying that features should not be explicit and self-evident rather should be associated with 'discovery'. – rk. Jul 8 '13 at 13:44
@rk. yea, you could be right. However, I think the statement was mentioned in the context of designing "utility-software". I think however that there could be some reasoning to it. Eg. a novice user who realize that list items on an Android conventionally can be removed by swiping them side to side. This is not cued in any way, except in the user guide I suppose. And I don't think it's far fetched to assume that the novice user finding this out would get a sense of accomplishment out of it. Or maybe that's just me... – AndroidHustle Jul 8 '13 at 14:05
Actually, now that you mentioned mobile. It is quite true in case of mobile, specailly touch based, interactions. Since, most of the time we do not have enough real estate to give the cues for the meta controls - Physical buttons, universal gestures, etc. I think you can start looking at 'Designing for Delight' or something similar to get what you are looking for. Create memorable experiences and delightful discoveries to keep the user engaged and for teaching new interactions. – rk. Jul 8 '13 at 14:07
hey thanks, I'll have a look at it – AndroidHustle Jul 8 '13 at 15:24

I didn't recognize the statement but I propose you direction.

In gamification field there are personality types which refers to the psychological classification of different types of individuals. They are: Achievers, Explorers, Socializers and Killers.

This classification is useful not only for gamification but could be spreaded more widely. At least compare the statements:

Explorers, dubbed "Spades" for their tendency to dig around, are players who prefer discovering areas, creating maps and learning about hidden places. They often feel restricted when a game expects them to move on within a certain time, as that does not allow them to look around at their own pace. They find great joy in discovering an unknown glitch or a hidden easter egg.

Achievers. Also known as "Diamonds," these are players who prefer to gain "points," levels, equipment and other concrete measurements of succeeding in a game. They will go to great lengths to achieve rewards that confer them little or no gameplay benefit simply for the prestige of having it.


Users get a sense of accomplishment discovering features on their own

Although both of them couldn't be applied to all the users.

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Bartle's player types (which is what you are referring to) has 4 types actually: Achievers, Killers, Socializers and Explorers. Or, if you follow Amy Kim's social engagements: Compete, Express, Explore and Collaborate. – rk. Jul 8 '13 at 13:37
@rk. I've pointed those types but gave description for more appropriate types for the question. – Alexey Kolchenko Jul 8 '13 at 13:42

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