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Recently, I was working on understanding how familiarity changes as users' experience increase.

A very normal understanding will be that the familiarity increases as users use the button and the interface more and more, but the speed of changing can also be interesting.

However, recently, I found that for a specific button of a specific menu, the familiarity decreases as users use the menu more. I think this is very interesting and I'm trying to figure out why.

I tried to think maybe because that users use the system with a long intervals, so that they forget about this system, however, it seems this isn't the case.

So, I am writing it here and hope someone can help me in some brainstorming.

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Hi Haohan, do post some screenshots so we can help. –  SimonTeo Aug 19 '13 at 2:47
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You talk of familiarity decreasing? How is this been measured? Are less users are clicking the button the longer they use the system? Without further details its hard to provide an answer. Think about the task they are trying to complete and what the button does. –  Sheff Aug 19 '13 at 7:53
    
Hi SimonTeo, I am sorry it is a voice based menu, so I am afraid there is no screenshots to put. –  Haohan Wang Aug 19 '13 at 19:37
    
Hi Sheff. I measure familiarity as how much time the user need to respond to a button. I have considered the situation that there will be much less users to survive long to use the system, but still we get a weird result. –  Haohan Wang Aug 19 '13 at 19:39

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I think this would probably be because as the users get more familiar with using the program, they have come to expect a certain logic/categorisation in the UI layout.

For that specific button, it is likely that it is placed in a wrong menu or categorisation that does not make sense to the user or that is not congruent with the rest of the UI design

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Thanks, this seems to make sense for the menus I am interested in. I will talk with the designer. –  Haohan Wang Aug 19 '13 at 19:02

Without getting specific details about this particular issue, I'd say: look at the button, and tell me what it does.

If you can't, that probably means you've either used an icon that doesn't explain it's use properly, or named it in a way that people don't know what it does.

People should be able to follow conventional wisdom to understand a button. Teaching them how something works is tricky, and as you've mentioned yourself, will make them forget if they fail to use the app for a while.

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Thanks. The button serves as repeating the message. Honestly, I am only working on analyzing the data, I am not sure whether the button explains itself properly. –  Haohan Wang Aug 19 '13 at 3:19

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